We were joined by Paul Malone, Director of Preservation Services, this week, who shared his extensive knowledge of photograph preservation in a 2-hour workshop at the South Perth Library.
After going through different types of photographs that were developed over the last two centuries (see here for an overview), we learned that the first step is to have an understanding of why photographs deteriorate, and that the biggest culprits are light and atmospheric conditions.
Some of Paul’s tips for storage of those precious family photo prints were to avoid anything with acidity (as it will cause deterioration). Look for acid-free materials. He also recommended we avoid displaying photographs near UV light sources which will accelerate deterioration. Check the light bulbs in your home, particularly the ones located near your framed photographs.
Good materials for storage of your prints include polypropylene, polystyrene, and even polyester. Paul recommended looking for these when purchasing negative and print sleeves and photo albums. Tyvec was recommended for storing glass negatives.
WHERE TO BUY
The Royal Western Australian Historical Society, located in Nedlands, are a good source of archival storage materials in Perth. Visit their website here for more information:
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