How to preserve my old photos ? a 5 step process


How to preserve my old photos – my memories. A 5 step process.

my old photos | my memories

my old photosMankind has produced images from the time of the painted caves to our days. The invention of photography allowed for the creation of more realistic and objective images, and all in fractions of seconds.

Used as a means of expression and communication of personal and social nature, photography has ranged between hobby and profession. Regardless of the context of its production, it touches our lives in various forms, promoting emotions and sensations and registering unique historical and social moments.

Because its nature is intrinsically linked to the concept of memory (singular or collective), it lies in us the responsibility to preserve the photographic prints in the best way possible, ensuring also to preserve the memories contained therein.

My old photos are a palpable object

Apart from being an image, a photograph is a palpable object, which occupies a place in space and requires specific attention, through its physical and chemical composition and the weaknesses that this may entail.

My old photos - Tagus river, Lisbon

Tagus river, Lisbon , wikimedia


Thus, the preservation and organization of my old photos will depend on several factors to ensure:

maximum preservation

photography online courseWe must think that  ” my old photos ” are rare and even unique. It is then our responsibility to take every possible precaution to the safeguard them, so that they last as much as possible.

That’s why you should create a suitable microclimate for maximum preservation.

In short, in this process we must:

1 – analyse the different photographs and their specific needs;

It is important to know the specifics of each photographic species.

2 –  analyse their states of preservation (which must be done individually and as a group);

Diagnosing the state of conservation is critical to figuring out what to do next.


3 –  research for existing and appropriate packaging systems and establish which should be used;

Improper packaging may also potentiate its degradation. For this reason, the most recommended materials are acid free papers.

4 –  establish basic cleaning and stabilization treatments that may be performed (where and when these are necessary) and who will perform them;

Ensure that the most complex interventions are carried out by qualified technicians.

5 – and establish rules for handling the prints (as a guarantee of respect and to maintain the integrity of the photograph, preventing damage).


Learn how we can  create a preservation program or project for our own private collections. Photography Preservation Program “At home”.

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