How to Preserve Your Favorite Photographs

Use these tips to help precious keepsakes last for generations to come.

Keep your photos out of direct sunlight or unfiltered fluorescent light. Display them in shady areas, or have copies made and store the originals.

Use archival-grade materials. Regular papers, plastic sheets, adhesives and mounting boards contain acids that damage photographs.

Don't store photographs near plumbing, in extreme temperatures or in areas prone to damp or high humidity, like basements, attics and garages.

Stash photographs individually, rather than in a stack, as they can stick together.

Document your photos. Use a soft pencil on the back of each image to note who is in the picture and where and when it was taken.

Make backup discs of digital photos in case your computer is damaged or stolen.

Store negatives and prints separately. Spread special ones around by sending selections to friends and relatives. Don't handle negatives.