PVC vs. Non-PVC
The traditional way of storing photographs in albums has severe shortcomings because most albums are made with PVC (PVC is a plastic that has very poor storage qualities and accelerates deterioration) and harmful glues that tend to destroy photos over a very short time.
It's important if you want to save old photographs (as well as new) to take them out of their current albums and re-organise them using a method with safe materials such as the Arrowfile's Archival storage system which uses non-PVC acid-free polypropylene.
See below for our tips on how best to protect and organise your photos:
1. Take more pictures than you need – this way you are bound to get some very good ones that you should select.
2. Get a digital camera - free to take as many photos as you wish without additional costs, you can always delete them later - and only print the very best pictures. The rest can be stored on CDs/Memory Cards. However do not forget to print thumbnail sizes of all the images on the CD.
3. After printing pictures, put the photos into a album as soon as possible. This keeps the photos in chronological order in their appropriate sections kept together with other photos from the same event.
4. Buy photo albums with loose-leaf pages so if photos are sent to you from other people, they can be inserted in chronological or event order. Choose the Photo Album Supplier with continual supply like Arrowfile www.arrowfile.com so that you do not need to worry about running out of stock.
5. Label your photos as you put them into the albums with Arrowfile’s memo titles. Do not forget to date them. Write who-what-where-why if possible. Your children will be thankful when they can identify everyone in the pictures. Do not write directly on photographs or on the back as it can damage them. Instead, use Arrowfile’s memo titles which go into spaces next to the photo, depending which Loose Leaf Refill you have chosen. If there is a story to tell, jot down a few notes and tuck it in behind the photograph.
6. It can be very difficult to find Negatives to reprint pictures. Put your Negatives in chronological order using Arrowfile’s archival Negative-Refill Pages into the same Binder Photo album or have one just for Negatives and CDs. If you can get Negs or CD’s printed into thumb-prints, put these into Arrowfile’s Refill page to place this next to Negatives. Although you can make Prints from Prints these days, the costs can be high. For the Professionals and hobbyists this is very important. Do not forget to label the page and the Binder
7. For digital users, store your CD’s/Memory Cards in a binder with CD-Refill/Memory-Card Refill pages. Label each CD/Memory Cards with who-what-when-where-why. Write on Arrowfile’s Memo Titles next to the CDs. Make back-up copies. One scratch and the information could be lost. Extra backup would be to upload the digital photos to a commercial web site: www.arrowfilephotos.com where they can be stored and out-of-town friends and family can view them as well.
8. Store photos in a cool, dry environment. Attics, garages and basements can do terrible damage to photos that you intend to enjoy for years or pass on to the next generation.
9. And for those “iffy” photos that you can’t bear to part with, put them in a “photo-shoebox”. In a year or so, look back and see if you still want them. Revisit this box yearly and weed out. Why not make a Photo Album of all the worst pictures.