How to store your Slides and Negatives safely
Many people have huge collections of slides, negatives and photos lying around the house or in the shed. Perhaps the most important thing you need to guard against is the degrading of these images, which can come in many forms, including:
- exposure to heat or cold
- becoming brittle, faded or stained
- becoming bent, ripped, cracked, warped or wrinkled
- being exposed to dust, dirt, moisture or insects
To ensure your slides and negatives are kept in the best possible condition, they should be stored in sleeves or containers specially designed to keep your memories safe. Storage in a cool, dry location is best, so keep them out of any areas which may be exposed to Australia’s extreme temperatures.
Older paper and plastic sleeves or enclosures may not be safe for long term storage, so replace them with modern, high quality plastic pocket-sleeves or plastic, metal or cardboard storage boxes. Also ensure each slide or negative is spaced accordingly and not bent or crammed in.
Another, although generally impractical solution is cold storage. This can slow the decaying process but can also even cause more immediate damage if used improperly. There are special enclosures and handling procedures to be followed if using this method.
When it comes down to it though, if a slide or negative is very important and needs to be kept for what ever reason, the best solution is to have it scanned to digital format for peace of mind. Then you have a high-quality, restored, easily ‘shareable’ and ‘copyable’ digital version for generations to come!