Preserving Old Family Photos
~ Old Family Photos ~
Family Legacy Preservation
If you’re like most, you have a box or album filled with old family photos sitting on a shelf somewhere. Are they labeled? Do you know the family members in the photos? What are their stories? Their contribution to your family history?
Those priceless old photos are windows into your family’s story and preserving them now is important to preserving your family heritage and legacy for future generations. Below are a few tips to help you safeguard your old photos….
Photo Preservation Tips
Label, Label, Label
It’s all too easy for vital information to be lost as old family photos are passed from one generation to the next. Take the time to identify and write down the names, places, and dates that go with the images. Always use an acid-free pen when writing on the back of old photos, never a ball point pen.
- Choose Photo-Safe Storage
Your old photos are your family’s legacy, so why are they relegated to a dusty box? Changes in temperature and humidity can damage these fragile heirlooms. Preserve your old family photos in acid free photo-safe albums or archival boxes. Avoid storing in the basement or attic in favor of a more temperature controlled environment.
- Handle Old Photos with Care
Unseen chemicals, moisture and oils on your hands can speed deterioration. Always work with clean dry hands and, if possible, wear cotton gloves. When handling old family photos, hold by their edges or borders and avoid touching the images themselves. Make sure any surface you work on is clean and dry as well.
- Avoid Natural Light
Old photos are extremely light sensitive and can fade quickly if exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid viewing or displaying yours in such conditions. For best protection when displaying old family photos, use an acid free mat and archival glass when framing.
- Scan Your Old Photos
While nothing can replace the beautiful black and white images and delicate paper of your old family photos, having only one hard copy leaves your legacy vulnerable to floods, fires, and other disasters. Although time consuming, scanning and saving your old family photos on a computer or disc gives you the extra safeguard of a digital image. When scanning, be sure the glass is clean and the photo is free of lint as flaws will be magnified.
Sharing your old photos is important, especially as families grow and spread out across the country or world. After labeling and scanning your pictures, burn them to DVDs and print out several hard copies of each. Make a set of the best photos for every grandchild and great grandchild and distribute at Thanksgiving or Christmas. That way, you know they will have access to those images and stories in years to come.
- Post to a Family Website
Another way to share old family photos is to post them to a Family Website. There you can share information about your family history, traditions, recipes and updates along with the old photos. A family website is a great way to keep everyone up-to-date on family happenings!
Beyond Old Family Photos
Here at Family Line Studios, we offer a variety of ways to help preserve your family stories and history – from scanning your priceless photos onto CDs to capturing you as you share the many stories behind them in a Family Documentary or Video Biography, a modern day heirloom your family will treasure for generations to come. (See samples)
To learn more, take a look around my site or contact me directly. Together, we can ensure your family stories and photos will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Family Line Studios, LLC
Chicago & beyond
~ Old Family Photos ~
Life Stories, Family History and Memories