Caring for and Managing Precious Family Photos

by Paul L. Enchelmayer - 2011

Posted Feb 27, 2019
Last Updated Feb 27, 2019

Storage, physical preservation

Ideal Environment

o    Low Humidity (35-50%); Low Temperature (60-70F); Low Light (dim-dark).


o    Dust free, light tight

o    Albums (scrapbooks); boxes; frames.

Storage Materials

o    Paper album pages, envelopes, sleeves, boxes.

o    Acid-free, Lignin- free, unbuffered paper.

o    Plastic sleeves, containers

o    Uncoated polyester, polyethylene or polypropylene - not Polyvinyl.

Older (legacy) albums

o    Fragile – Handle with care!

o    Paper pages may crack and break.

o    Copy photos with a camera when scanner is impractical.

o    Use interleaf sheets to protect pages.

o    "Magnetic" albums – store cool.

o    Only remove photos if possible - carefully.


Create a digital image (scan photos, documents) to digital format

o    Do it yourself (scanners, cameras).

o    Commercial scanning services: (try local store kiosks first)

o - for negatives and slides.

o - for prints

Image Editing Software: Windows Live Photo Gallery, Picasa Photo Organizer

o    Features

o    Color correction.

o    Contrast, brightness.

o    Cropping.

o    Photo filing and cataloging.

Paper/Plastic Resources

o    Photo/camera stores.

o    Album/scrapbook workshops (Creative Memories)

o    Online shops for storage materials:




Image Editing Resources

o    Windows Live Photo Gallery:


o    Picasa Photo Organizer: 


“How-to” Resources

o    Library of Congress -

o    National Archives -   © 2011

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