confused by contradicting info re: color photo storage

Welcome to Connecting to Collections Care Forums Group Forums C2C Community Archives – 2012 through 2014 confused by contradicting info re: color photo storage

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #132630
      Charlene Martin

      I am just catching up on the May Caring for Your Photographs webinar, and noticed that acid-free buffered boxes were considered fine for storage. I have seen elsewhere (like Gaylord) that I should be looking for unbuffered. The photos in question are enclosed in PAT mylar, a mix of black and white silver gelatin and more modern color photos and negatives (no cyanotypes).

      Thank you for your help with this!







    • #132637

      I understand, and share, your confusion, but have read (I think NEDCC and Conserve-O- Grams) that this is no longer necessary – that buffered storage is fine for photos and negatives. Please confirm with further research, however, especially in regard to negatives. Hope this helps.

    • #132636

      Alkaline materials presents in buffers cannot migrate from the enclosures to inside the color photo binders, so they shouldn’t represent a menace, thats because they are no longer “forbidden” in the ISO standars anymore.

      However am working now with a large color film photo archive who has suffered water damage and I see how all the films where affected by humidity in a way that their binders where softened and have now traces of the plastic original sleeves. In some cases they suffered from direct water contact and there’s any level of damage present, from small traces to total destruction. I wonder if in some cases like this wich will be the role of the alcaline compounds presents in enclosures.


      For me is like using glassine:  it may be ok but if someday there’s a water damage, that kind of material can become a lot more harmful.  So, in archives where safety is not very waranteed, I try to avoid a little bit this kind of potential harmful materials.


      In any case, speaking of color photography, the first and only real effective conservation mesure we must try to guaranteed is the cold storage.

    • #132635

      Mauro makes a good point, in that your photos have been enclosed in the mylar, so the issues surrounding buffered vs. unbuffered (caused by direct contact) shouldn’t come into play. Individuals and companies like Gaylord recommend unbuffered specifically because there haven’t been long term tests done to  measure the effect of the buffering agents coming into direct contact with the images.

    • #132634
      Charlene Martin

      Thank you everyone for your help with this. I am learning a lot from this community and the webinars.

    • #132633

      Seems like I missed a good webinar — can someone post a link to the Caring for Your Photographs webinar?

    • #132632
      Jenny Arena

      Marybeth, you can view all the webinars associated with the Caring for Photographs course here:

      It was definitely good! There are also some more resources under the Topics Menu at the top of the page under Care for Photographs. Hope that helps! – Jenny

    • #132631

      Thanks, Jenny

      I’ll need to spend some time reviewing that webinar!


Viewing 7 reply threads
  • The forum ‘C2C Community Archives – 2012 through 2014’ is closed to new topics and replies.