Many people believe they are doing the right thing for their photos when they purchase a magnetic photo album. You know the kind -- with a sticky surface and a sheet of clear plastic material over the top.
Nothing could be worse for your photos!
Those pages have a high acid content which can damage the photo. The plastic covers are chemically unstable and can adhere to the photo and peel off parts of the image, especially those photos that have been printed at home from your digital camera. Also, the “sticky” part of the album pages can make photo removal impossible over time.
The safest way to store your precious photos is in an archival album made with acid-free materials. Photo pages made of Mylar or polypropylene with slip-in pockets are ideal for your photos. They come in a range of styles and sizes, and they will not harm your photos over time.
The pages are clear, so you will still be able to view your photos without handling them, which can cause fingerprint damage from the oils on your skin. Images that are stacked on top of one another in a box may also bond together, scratch, or tear, so storing them in an album is a better alternative.
Always keep your photos in a cool, dry area of your home. They should not be exposed to excessive heat, humidity, or light. Don't store them in old shoe boxes, like many families do. The acid in the shoebox is not good for photos!
Please click on the related links for some suppliers of archival materials. You will find that the prices are a bit higher for these kinds of products, due to the additional process of making them archival. But if your photos are important to you, the extra expense to keep them safe is well worth it!
And one more thing -- be sure to label your photos as soon as you print them or get them back from the developer! You would be amazed how many families have no idea who people are once too many generations come and go. Be sure your family and friends don't end up in the "unknown" file!