Tips for making an archival heritage album to preserve your ancestors history. Being a Genealogist I am asked about the proper way to preserve old photos. I will discuss what has worked for me including digitizing your photos and organizing them. Materials to use and those to avoid. One thing I learned is that they do not have to have the somber tones and feel of scrapbooks of old. Make it fun… keep it simple, explore the possibilities!
“Archival Quality” is a phrase that is used loosely and is not always defined as it should be. If it doesn’t say archival then assume it is not. To properly preserve various materials the appropriate supplies should be used and one needs to make sure that they meet certain criteria. To be classified ‘Archival’ the material has to ensure that it is permanent, durable, chemically stable.
The purpose of archival storage is to protect printed materials, photographs, and other memorabilia from those things that can harm it over time.
The most common are ultraviolet rays found in sunlight and acid from any source. Remember that the oils from your skin can have damaging effects over time as well. Wood, and wood-based products such as paper, has acid, which weakens the cellulose in paper, which leads to its break down, causing discoloration and disintegration & lingin, a natural material which holds wood cells together, which over time breaks down into acids which causes the paper to become yellow and very brittle with age.