How to Preserve Old Photos

Family photos have to be preserved and this is especially true if they are vintage ones. This makes it possible for future generations to enjoy seeing the same. While this is the case, most people don’t have the slightest clue on how to go about the entire process. However, by following through with the following simple steps, it should be easy to meet this end.

What you need

For starters, you have to determine what you need and these include the following.

  • Negatives
  • Photos
  • Photo boxes that are acid free
  • Compact discs (CD)
  • Photo Album
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton gloves
  • Scanners


  • By using photo boxes, albums and scrapbooks that are of the highest quality materials, you lower the chances of damaging the family photos. It is ideal to use lignin free papers and they should also be acid free. Do not hold photos together using pins or clips and when sticking them, use safe glue.
  • When handling photos, it is advisable to use cotton gloves and this is especially true when handling vintage photos. This is important because the body excretes oil which can easily damage the photos and handling them with gloves ensures that the same is not transferred to the photos.
  • Labeling of photos should be done carefully. This means you should not write on them and if you must, then use photo safe pens. These can be bought from craft and photo stores.
  • When storing the family photos, choose a safe location. This should be an area where kids and pets cannot reach easily. Additionally, make sure they are not in a location that is susceptible to water leakage or exposure to fire. Areas to avoid include attics and basements. It is also important not to expose your family photos to direct sunlight to avoid fading or harmful home cleaning products.
  • Negatives and photos should never be stored together. For purposes of increasing safety, it is advisable to keep the negatives in fire-proof or a safe deposit box. There are negative cases you can invest in to serve this purpose.
  • Avoid storing your photos and negatives in areas that have high temperatures or humidity since this can easily cause damage. Ideally the temperature should be sixty five to seventy degrees while the humidity should be 50%.
  • Scanning the family photos and saving them to discs can also go a long way in preserving your family photos. Since disks can also get damaged, it is advisable to re-copy the stored photos after every eight or ten years.

There are several resources that provide helpful information on preservation of family photos and you can use the same. For starters, offers reliable tips for free.

If you store the family photos in CD’s, you can also long about how to prolong the longevity of the discs at Another source that offers reliable information on how to preserve photos is the Minnesota Historical Society.

With such resources, the process of preserving your photos should not appear as grim as you paint it out to be.