Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And memories fade away.

Over the last year I've gotten into genealogy  and trying to piece together our family tree. Which is surprisingly hard, considering the fact that 90% of our family doesn't communicate us due to continuing dramatic "family feud".  Ah, family, nothing quite like it. Anyway, I've recently dug out the oldest of the family photographs, and it's an archivist nightmare. Everything is jumbled together, my father's Vietnam photos are currently stored in a ancient Coca-Cola ice chest

Which is surprisingly airtight, but that doesn't help the fact that most of his photos were obviously once wet and are now suffering from mildew, sticking together,  color peeling, fading other general deteriorations associated with poor storage of photos


My mom's photos are in  slightly better condition, at least they weren't wet. Though some of them are so old, they're yellowing, the paper is clearly suffering from acid decay. 

And they don't even have the dignity of an old Coca-Cola container, they live in a shoebox.   I really need to get  these in a more archival a friendly environment, and restore those in the worst conditions. The first option is more feasible, since the second option is going to take a lot of research to find a reputable restorer, and probably a lot of money.

So, does anyone here have any experience whatsoever in archiving old, deteriorating, photographs or  reputable places to buy supplies from, the cheaper the better.  I'm trying to be realistic here, I don't have unlimited funds to dedicate to this, so budgeting is important. I know all the basics, handles little as possible, keep in a climate controlled environment, don't put into those cheap plastic sleeves, etc. I really need some more hard-core facts though, like what store sells archival sleeves the cheapest, ways to possibly stop the acid decay, how to unstick photographs from each other (if that's possible to do at home) and maybe even how to lightly clean some of the photos.anyone here know any helpful links