Photo Albums - safe or harmful?

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Example of a magnetic photo page leaking acid [/caption]Photo albums offer a great solution to organize your photos and for easy viewing. If however, you also want to protect your photos for your children and grandchildren to enjoy you must carefully select your photo album because not all albums are created equal.Photographic albums came onto the market when photographs became available and affordable as keepsakes and collectibles in the mid 1800's. Early albums consisted of nothing more than a bound book of blank pages where four small triangle shaped sleeves are used to hold the photos in place. This style of album was attractive because photo could be added and positioned at will and the photo corners held the snapshots without damaging them.Over time as the size of photographs became more standard and the need for convenience more prevalent photo albums evolved to include plastic pages with standard photo size pockets and magnetic photo pages where photos are held on a page by a special adhesive. These albums offered convenience but no protection - photos are attacked by the off gases from the plastic and acid from the adhesive.Today, store shelves are filled with so many different types and styles of photo albums its hard to decide on one. A few things to consider before making your decision are;

  1. Do you want your album to be expandable - add pages?
  2. Will you have photos of different sizes or orientation?
  3. Is labeling or writing memos about the photos important?
  4. What's more important to you - protection or convenience?

We have found the album that offers the best protection and most versatility are the albums with blank acid free heavy weight paper. Photos are placed on these sheets with photo corners and inserted into optically clear sleeves that are acid, lignin and PVC free.
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