Tips to preserve old photographs and family heirlooms
Protecting and preserving precious photographs and family heirlooms means they can be passed on for the next generation to enjoy.
One of the simplest ways to look back and celebrate your life is by remembering through photographs, videos and other special mementos.
Whether you have some old photographs that need to be carefully protected or other heirlooms you want to hang on to, here’s some tips for preserving and enjoying your most cherished possessions.
If you have old photographs or home videos that you want to preserve for years to come, making a digital copy is a great way to make it accessible to others. You can upload photographs to your computer using a home scanner.
This is also useful for delicate documents like birth certificates and marriage records – particularly if you’re holding on to records that are already five centuries old.
You may have slides or home movies in a format that makes them difficult to watch. There are many professional services that can carefully convert slides and film into formats like VHS and DVD. Contact your local photography shop or look for specialists like Snappy Snaps who can handle the process.
Consider the display
Many of us love to put old photographs and other heirlooms like quilts or paintings on display at home. This is a great way to enjoy your precious belongings, but not always a great way to protect them. Environmental factors like moisture, dust and sunlight can cause irreparable damage to already delicate items.
Consider how you’re displaying items and where the best place to put them in your home is. Keep photographs and quilts away from direct sunlight and bright light by hanging them in rooms that don’t have windows. For example, a hallway or bathroom might be a good place to put a display of your oldest photographs – and also a convenient place where people can spend a moment looking them over.
Get archive folders
Archive folders, acid-free flap envelopes and archival polyethylene bags can all keep your possessions safe when they aren’t out on display. This will help keep dust and moisture away from vulnerable items and, particularly in the case of fabrics, can also help prevent it being eaten by moths when you think it’s safely being stored.
For your oldest items, consider using cotton gloves. This might feel like an extreme measure, but the oils on your fingertips can cause delicate materials to breakdown faster. Gloves will ensure you can look through old books, photographs and documents without damaging them.
Avoid the attic
For many of us, the attic is an obvious storage place because items can be safely stored for years at a time. Like a basement, the attic is prone to larger fluctuations in temperature and humidity than the rest of the home, which can both damage your delicate items over time. The best place for heirlooms is in a closet or shelf in your main living space on the first or second floor.
Do you have any tips to preserve photographs and heirlooms? Share your experience in the comments below.
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Home essentials every grandparent should have - July 20, 2018
- Vote for the best beach in the UK - July 19, 2018
- Did you put off retirement due to money worries? - July 18, 2018
- Tips for tracing old pensions - July 18, 2018
- Barbecued corn on the cob with shallot herb butter - July 16, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!