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Thursday, October 9, 2008

How2 Preserve Your Photographs:

Any family photos no matter how recent are important. Whether or not you decide to contribute old pictures to our projects or not you may find the following information useful.

If you do decide to contribute a photo to our project [or anyone else’s] please remember you don't have to contribute the original. A good quality copy or reproduction is fine; better yet if your picture is on file at some studio somewhere just bring us the information for ordering it. If you only have an original we can make copies and then mail your original [and an extra copy] back to you.

If you only have an old photo that is an original, even if you don't loan it to us for reproduction, YOU SHOULD HAVE A COPY MADE and save the negative. Old and new pictures all eventually fade and deteriorate, so do negatives. Let's preserve our heritage. Having the original photo is great, but having the only photo is careless. If you don't make copies for the rest of the family at least take the precaution to make copies for your descendants! Many take it for granted that their children and grandchildren will someday enjoy the pictures they take today.

Photographs suffer from yellowing, cracking, and fading. Others are destroyed or simply lost. Although some photographs last for generations, none of them are immune to the effects of time. One day you or your descendants may open your old shoebox to discover that some of your most precious mementoes are suddenly ‘blank’.

Photographs are made-up of several layers of materials. The top layer contains the image suspended in gelatin (purified animal protein), or emulsion layer. This layer is coated on to a base layer of photographic paper of film. A layer of adhesive is used to make the other two layers stick together.

The materials used to form the image [top layer] depend on the type of photograph. Black and white photographs are made up of light-sensitive silver salts (silver halides), and Color photographs and slides are made up of dyes instead of silver deposits. You can expect your color prints to last for decades, but they do not preserve as well as black and white images.

see also "Preserving Your Newspaper Clippings"

see also "How2 Scan Photos"

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