Photos are something we cherish. They provide a glimpse into the past, and help us remember what time might have us forget. So, when an old photo is found, how can it best be preserved to keep the memories it represents safe? There’s a couple of ways…
Scan Photos into the Computer
If a photo is in poor condition, its especially important to scan it into the computer. Scanning photos preserves them in their current state and ensures that they can’t be corroded by additional time. Once in the computer, old photos can be stored, edited, and in some cases, repaired. Scanned photos can also be used for a variety of purposes, including slideshows, and online family albums.
Original old photos, if not on display behind glass, should be kept in an interior closet with no windows. Avoid tempting storage places like the attic, garage, or basement. The fluctuation in temperatures increases the risk of damage, as does the increased environmental hazards of water leaks, hungry bugs, or spreading mold.
Upload Photos to Multiple Devices
For important old photos that you don’t want to loose, be sure to save them on a variety of devices. By using CDs and flash drives and external hard drives, your photo is sure to stay safe in the event that one of your devices unexpectedly crashes, or becomes out of date. After all, how many people still use those old floppy disks?
To keep your photos extra safe, upload them to servers that can be accessed from any computer. Facebook will save photos, but it also lowers the quality. To maintain quality, try storing photos on the same website you use to preserve your family history work. These are great places to upload to, because then you can also share them with your family.
Another option is to sign up for Dropbox. Dropbox is a free site that allows you to store photos and documents. Best of all, your Dropbox can be accessed from any computer.
To protect your old photos on your preferred computer, make sure your computer is equipped with anti virus software.
Make Hard Copies of Photos
Just like having multiple digital copies can keep your photos safe from unexpected catastrophes, having multiple hard copies can do the same. Print out your favorite photos, and store them in safe locations such as photo albums, or photo books. If you make a digitized photo book with MyCanvas, your photos are stored electronically, and can be printed on demand so you always have access to your cherished memories.
Regardless of how you choose to preserve and protect your old photos, what’s important is keeping them safe so that future generations can learn about and appreciate their ancestors as much as you do.