Have some vintage sports photographs you’re trying to protect? Don’t forget the basics.
by Dave Poon
If you are among the growing legions collecting antique photographs, it is important to preserve and protect the classic images you value. You may have a treasured album full of images or are just now getting into searching and collecting them. Either way, it’s important to know how to take care of these valuable items.
Fortunately, with the technological advancements in photo preservation and restoration, there are ways to preserve vintage photos.
1. Antique photos should be kept properly. Sunlight can severely damage the photograph’s original settings. It’s smart to store them in a secure place–not in your attic, basement, or garage.
Secure them specifically for long term storage and stability. Use archival products that are designed to keep and secure antique photographs. These products can keep your collections from extreme sunlight, changing humidity and temperature that can trigger deterioration.
2. Use clear plastic sleeves with the right sizes for your photographic postcards, cabinet cards, and stereo views to store them properly. Archival materials are very efficient in keeping photographs free of deterioration.
Archival materials have polyester and polypropylene which are efficient for long term storage. Cabinet cards are also inserted to antique file albums for extra protection from dust and fingerprints.
3. Photograph collections can be well organized and secured in a loose leaf album. If the photographs vary from small to large pictures, the photographs can be arranged using an archival paper pages. Use a Mylar or a polypropylene archival album with three ring binders to protect and keep photos from sunlight and rodents.
4. Use a polyetheline bag for large antique pictures. For best preservation of the original settings and colors, each picture should be attached to pure rag acid-free mat board. Use acid-free linen to hold the mats together. Some experts also recommend non-buffed pure rag materials for those albumen prints.
Avoid exposing antique photos to any components that contain sulfur dioxide, fumes, fresh paint, and fumes that exist from cleaning oxidants. Store antique photos in proper secured enclosures made of good clean plastic.
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