Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Safe removal of photos from magnetic album pages

After all of the photographs I've removed from "magnetic" photo albums this week, I thought I would share some links to pages regarding safe removal from these pages.

About.com - describes the make-up of these old albums and why they are destroying our photographs

Tips for safely removing the photographs - another article from About.com

Here's a good article on photo preservation from the Nebraska State Historical Society Gerald R Ford Conservation Center. This is an Adobe pdf file.

Taking care of your personal archives from The Atlantic magazine - originally published by the Smithsonian.

The video below is from the Smithsonian and provides some tips for safe removal.

After seeing some examples of photo album horror stories online, I feel pretty fortunate that my photos came out the albums as easily as they did. However, the glue from the magnetic pages is stuck on the backs of some of the photographs. I'm guessing that this could present some problems if the photos will be stacked together for long term storage. Before these photos are filed away, I'm going to make sure that I scan the "keepers" so that further damage can be prevented. I suppose that going back to my original negatives might also be an option. But that is probably going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I wonder if I still have a light box around here somewhere . . .


  1. Thanks for posting this! I have an old magnetic album full of old photos I've been meaning to 'rescue'. Now I know how, thanks to you.

  2. I have several albums that have been in my husband's family for 30+ years that I need to remove the photos from and have been putting it off. Thanks for sharing on to do this safely!

  3. Thanks for posting this! It's timely as I will be facing this type of album soon. Time to scan the old family photos when I visit my parents.

  4. I've recently started trying to go through our old family magnetic albums - so much work! Ugh. I've had to go back to the negatives several times and I'm so glad that I did because I was amazed how much better the image from the negative was than the photo in the album. The images really faded and yellow in the album and after scanning the negative I was able to have great colored and crisp images.

    Great post!