Family History Preservation Guide & Catalog

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Family History

Preservation Guide & Catalog PHOTOG R APHS & PAPER

About This Guide Preserving the objects that represent your family history is one of the most important ways you can ensure your legacy for future generations. Photographs and paper items are often the main elements of a family history collection, and are especially vulnerable to deterioration. Providing the right storage environment can aid in the preservation of these family treasures. Archival containers such as boxes, binders, and enclosures can lessen the effects of fluctuating temperatures and humidity, provide physical protection from dust, pests, and mishandling, and will not cause further damage to the contents. A guide for family historians, collectors, and memory-keepers, the information here will help you plan archival storage for your photos and paper collections. Archival Methods was founded in 2002 by Dennis Inch, a veteran of the preservation industry. Our aim is to provide the best available archival products while supporting customers with top notch service and guidance. We love to talk about projects with our customers! Call or email us, or connect on social media. We're here to help!

Archival boxes, binders, and portfolios are handcrafted in our Rochester, NY manufacturing facility. ©2020 Archival Methods All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Archival Methods LLC, 655 Driving Park Avenue, Suite #5, Rochester, NY 14613

Family History

Preservation Guide & Catalog PHOTOGRAPHS & PAPER

PROJECT PLANNING Anatomy of a Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2–3 Before You Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4–5 Curating Your Collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6–7 Storage Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8–9

HOW TO STORE Photo Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10–11 Document Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12–13 Framing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14–15

PRODUCTS Boxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16–17 Binders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18–19 Enclosures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20–21

RESOURCES Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22–23 Additional Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24–25 This preservation guide and catalog features many, but not all, of the products that Archival Methods stocks. Please visit our website for the full range of products, including all of the size and color options.



Anatomy of a Project Imagine taking your shoeboxes full of family photos and memorabilia and organizing them into museum-quality storage containers, knowing they are now preserved and accessible. It is possible! Use this guide to understand the storage needs of all types of materials you may have in your collection–photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, family documents, ephemera, and more, and the steps to take to organize and store them.

All of the items referenced in this catalog are "archival," though this is a non-technical term and is not officially connected to any standards. Any company's claim of "archival quality" or "photo safe" should be substantiated by product descriptions and specifications that prove materials meet certain requirements. The Photographic Activity Test (PAT) is one standard; testing that materials are non-damaging to photographs. On our website, you will find complete archival specifications for each of our products.

Binders Binders are a great way to store photos and documents that you want to access more frequently. See page 18 for products

Document Boxes Use letter or legal size file folders inside a document box for optimal organization. See page 12 for products


Take your family history collection from chaos to organization and preservation!


Anatomy of a Project

Adhesive Back Vinyl Label Holders Designed for easy, interchangeable labeling of boxes and binders. Available in four sizes. Item #37-695

Print Storage Stacks of prints can easily be sorted into divided sections, with caddies, envelopes, or archival plastic boxes or bags, providing additional levels of organization and protection. See page 10 for products

Newspaper Storage

THE FIRST STEP Gather all of your family photos, documents, and memorabilia into one place to assess the scope of your project. This will help you plan the investment of time and resources for preserving these treasures as part of your family legacy.


Fragile, acidic newspapers need to be stored away from other objects. Archival plastic bags provide a buffer from their deterioration. See page 13 for products



Before You Begin


There are some tools that will be helpful as you work with the photo and paper items in your family history collection. Gathering these supplies and preparing a dedicated workspace will start your project off right.

 Find a location where you can keep your work undisturbed while in process  Spread out on a clean, well-lit table space T emporary storage containers help with sorting: shoeboxes for photos, hanging files for documents  No food or drink around your items

Suggested Supplies: 1. Microfiber Cloth Gently wipe dust off photos or objects with a microfiber cloth or soft brush that won't damage the surface. No water or chemicals!



2. Dental Floss Unflavored floss can be used to help remove photos stuck to album pages. Starting at a corner, gently work the floss between the photo and page to release the old adhesive.


3. Magnifying Glass Spying details in a photo or document can help with identification and dating. Have a magnifying glass or loupe on hand as you sort through your collection..

4. Archival Pen Use archival ink for labeling dividers inside photo storage boxes or labels on the outside. It won't fade over time or damage contents.. Item #99-TLP3

5. Craft Spatula This tool, available at craft stores, can be used to help remove photos stuck in albums. Gently lift up a photo corner, sliding the spatula between the photo and the page.


NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.




Before you Begin


Cotton Gloves Item #61-001

A staple of object handling in the museum world, gloves should be part of your family history project toolkit. Many professionals prefer nitrile gloves over cotton since they provide a stronger barrier against unknown or harmful substances, won't snag, and allow for better dexterity. Gloves - either kind - should be worn when handling photographs since they are especially susceptible to damage from fingerprints and oils from your hands. Gloves are recommended for handling paintings and leather or metal objects as well. Clean, bare hands are fine for paper, books, glass, china, ceramics, and most textiles. Item #61-001 (cotton) & Item #61-BX3S (nitrile)

6. 7.

6. Index Cards Use these to divide sections of photos in either 4x6 or 5x7 boxes, or to identify groups of items as you sort. Item #02-04-Index 8.

7. Stabilo-All Pencils

8. Photo Envelopes

A soft pencil for writing on the backs of photos, documents, and glass or metal surfaces.

Document information about your photos as you organize them into envelopes holding up to 36 prints each. See website for boxes these fit into.

Item #99-8222

Item #29-46PN




Curating Your Collection As you go through your family history collection, you'll want to act as curator, making decisions about what to keep, what should be shared, and what might need repair. The Curating Checklist will help you plan the priorities, resources, and timeline for your family history project. Using the "4 Ds" - Decide, Document, Digitize, and Determine - you will capture and preserve the stories and information that make up your family legacy. Consult a professional conservator about items that need repair or restoration. Use the "Find a Conservator" link on the American Institute for Conservation site ( to search for one in your area.

1. D ECIDE what to keep

2. DOCUMENT what you know

Review your collection with a curatorial eye. What are the important photos and objects that tell the stories about your family's history, values, and traditions? Are there items that can be passed on to children or relatives?

As you sort through photos and documents, take notes about the who/what/when/where/why on the reverse in pencil. For documents or heirlooms, explain the provenance, or how you came to own it. Note any damage and the item's location. Keep this information in a notebook, on a spreadsheet, or in photo metadata.

For photos, use the ABCs method to edit your collection. A is for Album-worthy, or the best photos that should be digitized. B is for ones to save in a Box. C is for trash Can discard doubles, scenery, blurry shots, etc. S is for ones that tell Stories, even though they may not be the best images.


Now is the time to assess any damaged items and consult with a conservator about possible repair or restoration.

*From Photo Organizing Made Easy by Cathi Nelson. 6

In addition to writing down information, consider filming (even with your phone!) yourself or relatives talking about family treasures. Videos can be added to your photo collection. These are the stories that make up your family legacy, and your relatives and descendants will thank you for making the effort to record it.



CURATING CHECKLIST  What are the most valuable and important items to your family, the ones that represent your history, values, and traditions? These should be preservation priorities.  What other items would benefit from archival storage?  How often do you want to access them?  What storage space is available?  What budget do you have for storage supplies?  Is there a timeline for working on the project?

Item #01-212

Computer backups are a critical aspect of your preservation plan.

3. DIGITIZE and back up While keeping the physical copies of your family heirlooms safely stored in archival boxes and albums, you'll also want to scan and save digital copies. There is much information online about scanning options. Be sure to follow the 3-2-1 backup method: have three copies of your digital images on at least two different types of storage (your computer and flash drives, for example), one of which should be away from your home or in the cloud. Digitized images are easily shared with family and friends through photo books, online galleries, and more.

4. DETERMINE a storage plan Archival storage preserves objects by protecting them from not only physical damage, but also environmental elements that can speed up deterioration. Answering the questions in the checklist above will guide your preservation planning. Take into account how often items will be accessed, where they will be stored, and the budget available. Do you want to flip through your photos frequently? Use binders for storage and viewing. For long-term storage, archival boxes are a good solution, but make sure they aren't too large that you can't easily maneuver them. Framing lets you display special photos or documents in a way that also preserves them. Finally, choose an appropriate storage place in your home (see pages 8 - 9).




Storage Environment Before planning for storage containers, you must consider the overall environment where you keep your family history collection. Fluctuations in heat and moisture, light, dust, and pests are all enemies of paper and photos and can speed up their deterioration. These dangers are most prevalent in the nonliving spaces of your home. Dark, dry, and relatively cool is the environment your collection needs. A high shelf on a closet in your living space, preferably not under a bathroom, is ideal. The temperature is stable, humidity can be controlled when needed, no sunlight gets in, and the chance of water damage is mitigated. Use the checklist on the opposite page as you plan for archival storage in your home.


 Attic  Basement  Garage Protect Against Natural Disasters Everyone should be prepared in case of fire, so digitizing and backing up your family history collection is of the utmost importance. However, if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, or tornadoes, you'll want to take additional precautions.

Water damaged photos are hard to salvage. Take steps to prevent this from happening to yours.

Make an emergency plan for your heirlooms. This could include having waterproof storage bins on hand and a list of what to take when evacuating.





Storage Location


In the average home, the safest storage spot is on a high shelf in the main part of the house, not under any water sources.

Temperature A temperature range of 60-75°F is suitable for most photos and objects. Extreme fluctuations should be avoided.


Relative Humidity Keep relative humidity consistent at 35-55%. Desiccant containers or dehumidifiers can help control moisture.






Sunlight Box susceptible items and frame with UV filtering glass or acrylic. Keep boxes and frames out of direct sunlight.


Packing PackUV like objects together (or

at least similar size and weight) and don't overcrowd boxes. Label the outside well.


Desiccant Canister

Use crumpled archival tissue for wrapping and cushioning fragile items. No packing peanuts!

Absorbs moisture in 3 cubic feet of closed space, such as a box. Reusable; restore by heating in an oven. Item #53-001




Photo Storage How you answered the questions about resources and access as you curated your collection will determine what storage will benefit your photos. For viewing photos frequently, binders are a great option. Page protectors can house many sizes of photos. See page 19 for products. For less-accessed storage, boxes are preferred. Use additional layers of protection inside boxes: envelopes to group prints, smaller boxes to organize slides, plastic sleeves to protect fragile vintage photos, or plastic bags to contain scrapbooks.

PHOTO STORAGE TIPS  Scan images before storing them  Label as much as you know on the reverse or on inserts, and identify box contents U se a #2 or Stabilo-All pencil for labeling A lways wear gloves when handling photos

52-013-P (inserts) & 86-8511 (bags)

Handling Fragile or Damaged Photos Some photos or documents in your collection, especially vintage ones, may require special support and protection. Fragile or damaged 2-D items should be housed in their own sleeve or bag. Place the image on an acid-free paper insert sized to fit the enclosure; you don't need to attach it. Now you can safely store it in a box or binder. NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

Scrapbook Storage Scrapbooks and vintage photo albums are best kept in one piece, if possible. An archival plastic bag keeps all the pages in place and provides an extra layer of protection. Just fold the bag closed to maintain airflow; it should not be sealed. Choose a metal edge box that most closely fits the dimensions of the album, Use crumpled acid-free tissue along the sides to take up any extra space. Items #04-BOOK-SM



Photo Storage

Negative Storage 4 x 6 Print Storage One of the most common sizes of prints in family photo collections are 4 x 6". Our Archive 900 Kit holds 900 of them, and comes with archival envelopes and 25 index card dividers. Larger kits available. Item #60-900

Negatives in good condition are a great backup for your photo collection since they contain the most complete "information" about the original image. Sized for strips of four 35mm film images, this kit comes with archival plastic sleeves that hold one negative strip each, and file folders to house six sleeves, or one roll of film. Item #31-400

USB Storage USB drives (also known as flash drives or thumb drives) can be a useful part of your photo collection backup system. Corral your USB drives— as well as memory cards from your camera, in our convenient USB / Memory Card Storage Kit. The drop front box offers easy access, and bins, labels, and an index help you organize up to 48 drives. Item #60-601

Slide Storage While convenient when everyone had projectors, slide carousels make bulky storage containers. Take up a smaller footprint by rehousing your slides in our Slide Kit. This efficient and compact system holds up to 1,200 cardboardmounted or 600 glass slides. See our website for larger kits. Item #07-062




Document Storage While not as susceptible to deterioration as photos, documents need archival storage as well. Use the Curating Checklist on page 7 as you make decisions about storing your family documents, books, ephemera, and other paper-based memorabilia. Binders, boxes, and hanging files are all good options for storing these types of collections.

DOCUMENT STORAGE TIPS  Remove staples, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.  Unfold and flatten papers when possible, to store without creases  Support fragile documents with cardstock in a sleeve  Choose enclosures that are large enough to contain the entire document  Don't overcrowd boxes  Use spacers in document boxes to take up extra room

Document Storage Kit

Triangular Roll Storage Box

For the highest level of content protection and organization, store documents in file folders within archival document boxes. Kit comes with 50 lettersize folders. Black, Gray, or Tan.

Storage for maps, prints, drawings, and other rolled items that avoids damage from pulling to remove from storage tubes. This triangular box opens fully along the long edge, allowing for safe placement and removal of items. Holds a diameter of up to 3 1⁄2". Won't roll off work surface and stacks easily.

Item #03-055

Item #127-6630



Document Storage

Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits Newsprint, by its very nature, is a poor candidate for long term preservation; it is manufactured at the lowest possible cost and contains acid, lignin and other impurities that do not bode well for long life. Magazines, too, are made with cheap paper. However, you can extend the life of these by properly storing them under optimal conditions. Start by measuring the length and width of your newspapers or magazines and order the appropriate kit(s). Place the materials in the polyethylene bags and then organize into the archival boxes. Pack them loosely to avoid stress on the objects. Kits include: one Tan drop front box, 10 polyethylene bags, and one reusable desiccant canister to absorb moisture inside the closed box. Item #63-1418-M

NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

Hanging File Folders

Record Storage Boxes The archival version of the traditional banker's box, these are ideal for long term file storage (but also good for larger 3-D objects). The half size box comes in letter or legal. The full size box holds either size folders and options available separately include a double-bottom version for heavier loads and inserts to take up space when the box is not entirely full. Item #55-1512 (full size) & Item #128-002 (legal 1/2 size)

For long term filing of important documents, you need archival quality folders. These look like regular office supplies, but they are acid- and lignin-free. Fit these into any hanging file cabinet or box. Slots for standard plastic tabs for labels. Open side folders come in letter or legal size, in packages of 25. Pocket Hanging Folders with gusseted pockets–which prevent your documents from falling out, are sold in packages of five. Note that fragile documents still need to be protected with enclosures even inside these folders. Item #26-150




Framing For the family photographs, documents, or other heirlooms that you want to enjoy every day, framing is a good option. The frame provides physical protection, and as long as archival materials are used, it is being safely preserved. The caveat is that these treasured items must be hung away from direct sunlight. Even when using UV filtering glass or acrylic, UV damage will eventually occur. Consider making reproductions of photos or documents that you want to display, and store the originals in archival boxes.


DIY Framing Archival Methods' frame kits make framing easy! Save money as you preserve your photos and documents in an archival frame. Check out our step-by-step instructions:

 Use archival matboard, backing, and UV-filtering glass or acrylic  Have a thick enough mat so that what's being framed doesn't touch the glass  Hang out of direct sunlight  Hang on an interior wall; they bear less changes in temp/moisture conditions than exterior

NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

UV Filtering Acrylic A lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass, our UV filtering acrylic protects artwork against harmful ultraviolet rays that can fade your images over time. Each sheet is 1⁄8" thick and filters out 98% of UV rays. Item #190-810

Profile #111

Profile #105

Profile #115

Profile #102

Custom Frames Send us dimensions of your matted photo, choose a style, and receive 4 lengths of frame to assemble. Mats, acrylic, and hardware kits are sold separately. Search for Custom Frames on our website




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Search for Custom Mats on our website

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Wood Frame Kits Solid wood frames come in three finishes: Maple has a natural clear finish. Poplar wood is used for the Black and White painted frames.


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Item #212-1114

TYPES OF BOARDS All but the Pearl White is 100% cotton fiber "museum board," buffered to provide extra protection against destructive acids. The Pearl White is "conservation board;" also archival and buffered, but manufactured from purified wood fiber and more economical.




Boxes The workhorses of archival storage, there are boxes available for any kind and size paper or photographic item you need to store. They provide physical protection from dust, debris, and damage from mishandling. Use enclosures or dividers to organize items inside. Crumpled tissue can take up space so objects don't shift. Most importantly, label the outside with the contents. The less you have to handle the objects to know what's inside, the better. NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

Drop Front Boxes Our Drop Front Boxes are the most popular storage containers for archives, museums, and other institutions concerned with the long-term storage of photographs and documents. A hinged “drop front” panel on the long side of the base lets you safely insert or remove materials without the risk of bending or flexing the contents, further minimizing the risk of corner damage. This open design eliminates the need to remove materials to access items at the bottom. Available in many dimensions at 1 1/2" or 3" deep. Black, Gray, Tan, or White.

Short Top Boxes These “archival shoe boxes” are general purpose containers for safely storing photos, postcards, stereocards, CDs, and even smaller memorabilia or other heirlooms. The removable, close-fitting tops seal out dust and metal edging along the corners provides extra rigidity when stacking them. Available in several dimensions. Black, Gray, or Tan. Item #04-003

Item #01-112 (1 1/2" depth) or Item #01-030 (3" depth)




Hinged Lid Boxes


This style of box is optimal for storing a wide range of items, including prints, negatives, postcards, CDs, Super 8 movie reels, or collections of small objects. The undercut front panels facilitate easy filing and sorting of contents. Hinged lid doesn't get misplaced when box is open. Various dimensions. Black, Gray, or Tan.

Combining the protection of an archival, metal edge box with the convenience of a three-ring binder.

Item #02-003

The binder box is ideal for organizing photo files, documents, or genealogical records. It lends itself especially well to “active storage” of collections, where work is repeatedly accessed. With a 1 1/2" O-ring, the maximum capacity is 60 pages of prints in page protectors. Black, Gray, Tan. Item #06-001

Full Top Boxes These sturdy containers with removable tops range from 1 3/4" to 5 3/4" deep. The collection of 3" deep boxes is perfect for treasured family books, and comes in six different dimensions to fit even the largest tomes. The metal edges ensure the structural integrity of the boxes even when stacked. Gray only. Item #04-596

Create-a-Kit Personalize your storage! Easily store different size photos, media, or objects in the same box with mixand-match inserts. Add envelopes, bags, dividers, and other elements to organize and label your collection. Small and large kits available. Item #60-2700-L




Binders For photographs or documents you want to view and enjoy more frequently, storage in a binder makes sense. Our binders are handcrafted with museum-quality archival materials. All plastic page inserts are archival and safe for long-term storage. We even offer page inserts for CD/DVDs, so you can easily store music collections or photo and data backups. Binders with slipcases provide complete protection from dust and debris on all sides. Our version with tabs at the bottom edge allows for easy removal from a shelf. NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.


Item #17-5010

Binder and Slipcase Sets

11 x 17" Binders

Storing valuable collections in three-ring binders is a bit like keeping things in open drawers. Dust finds its way in and protection against mishandling is not as complete as it can be. Slipcased binders dramatically enhance the security of your items by protecting the contents on all sides. Available in 1 1/2" or 2 1/2" D-ring binders; capacity 60 or 85 pages of prints. Black, Blue, Green, or Red, with Black slipcase.

Constructed using a slightly heavier board, these binders are handcrafted like fine books. They come with a slipcase for all-around protection of the contents. 11 x 17" pages leave lots of room to get creative. Add-on items sold separately include three-hole punched album pages, mounting corners or adhesive dots to attach photos, and plastic sleeves for a protective cover on the pages.

Item #18-5310

Item #19-1117-BK




31⁄2 x 5" – 4 pockets Item #52-013

4 x 6" – 3 pockets Item #52-016

4 x 6" - caption insert Item #56-246

5 x 7" – 2 pockets Item #52-017

35 mm slides – 20 pockets Item #52-035

81⁄2 x 11" - 1 pocket Item #52-011

93⁄8 x 11" - magazines Item #52-911

6 x 101⁄2" - 2 pockets Item #56-002 *Page inserts sold separately

Are Plastics Photo-Safe? Yes! Inert plastics such as polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester will not off-gas or negatively affect photographs or other objects over time. All of our plastic enclosures have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT).

When to Use Page Inserts Whether you want to write a caption, or just need to provide support for a fragile photograph, use our archival cardstock page inserts. Available in black or white and a range of dimensions, this simple insert can reduce wear and tear when handling. No need to use mounts; slide the photo or document next to the insert. Item #52-013




Enclosures Many times a storage box is not enough for preservation. We offer a large range of archival enclosures that add an extra layer of protection and organization. Choose from envelopes and folders, plastic sleeves and bags, and different types of paper.


The myriad options and sizes available are listed on our website. There can be more than one right enclosure for a particular object; call us to discuss the best solution for your needs.

ENCLOSURE TIPS  Choose enclosures large enough to contain the entire object  The low static charge of polypropylene sleeves is ideal for storing flaky items like charcoal and pastel artwork

Polyethylene Bags Versatile protection for all sizes of items, from 3" to 28". Good clarity and costeffective storage. Item #35-201

Crystal Clear Bags Polypropylene with excellent clarity, sized to fit matted or multiple prints. Resealable adhesive strip closure. Item #86-0406

Clear File Boxes

NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

Polypropylene boxes will hold 67 4x6" prints. Sized for QPO 1000 Print Organizer or Create-a-Kits. Item #60-4625



3-Sided Sleeves

Side Loading Sleeves

Film Sleeves

Clear polypropylene sleeve open on one end. Sized for the thickness of matted or multiple prints.

Super clear polyester sleeve with a folded side flap for easy loading and secure closure.

Choose from clear polyester or cost-effective polypropylene. Side fold holds negatives in place.

Item #390-46

Item #32-102

Item #31-001





File Folders

Archival Tissue

Archival file folders come in full, half cut, or third cut tabs. Bottom-scored to hold up to 50 documents per folder.

All-purpose tissue with a multitude of uses, such as interleaving, wrapping objects, or crumpled to take up space in a box. Many dimensions or as rolls.

Item #23-001

Item #45-001

Flap Envelopes Efficient way to file documents or newspaper clippings. Made from heavyweight cardstock with a 2 1/2" closure flap. Item #21-001

Acid-Free Card Stock Useful as inserts for sleeves and sheet protectors, album pages, or as a backer in a frame. Many dimensions available.

Flap Envelopes Open on Long Side

Item #79-810

Open on the long side, these folders are made from heavyweight cardstock with a 21⁄2" closure flap.

Permalife® Paper Archival bond paper, perfect for copies of your important documents. 25% cotton increases durability.

Item #21-002

Item #132-8511

Open-End Envelopes Designed for long-term stor­age of negatives, prints, or ephemera. Use with Side Loading Sleeves for added protection. Item #20-001

Glassine Thin, smooth paper for interleaving artwork or ink-jet prints (not recommended for photographs). Many dimensions or as rolls. Item #125-0810

Archive Envelopes 4x6 Archive Envelopes allow you to document information about your photographs as you organize them. Each envelope holds up to 36 prints.

Index Cards Useful for organizing boxes of photos into sections. See website for a list of the boxes they fit into. Item #02-04-INDEX

Item #29-46PN




Glossary See a full list of terms at: acid - In chemistry, a substance capable of forming hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Acids can weaken cellulose in paper, matboard, and cloth, leading to embrittlement. Acids may be introduced in the manufacture of papers, by migration from other materials, or from atmospheric pollution. acid-free paper - Paper with a pH of 7.0 or greater. It can be produced from cotton or wood pulp, and must be free of aluminum sulfate sizing. (Sizing is an agent applied to the paper's surface after manufacture to impart certain qualities such as printability.) Unless a paper has been buffered with a substance to neutralize acids, it will become acidic over time because of atmospheric pollution. The term "acidfree" does not necessarily mean a paper is safe for archival uses. Look for additional specifications about content, buffering agents, and sizing.

conservation - The treatment of library or archive materials, works of art, or objects to stabilize them chemically or strengthen them physically, aiming for their survival as long as possible in their original form. foxing - Spots of various sizes and intensity, usually brownish in color, that disfigure paper. They are caused by a combination of fungi, paper impurities, and dampness. glassine - Translucent, smooth paper commonly used as protective wrappers. Not recommended for photographic storage due to tendency of emulsion to permanently adhere to glassine under high humidity or moisture exposure. interleaves, interleaving - Blank sheets of paper that alternate with the printed leaves of a book, or are placed between prints to separate and reduce contamination between them. Kappa number - The Kappa number is an indication of the lignin content of paper. lignin - An acidic organic substance found in wood pulp. It is not removed in the manufacture of low grade papers.

alkaline reserve – A buffer of calcium carbonate added to paper to counteract acids. Usually 2 - 3%. archival; archivally sound – A non-technical term that suggests that a material or product is permanent, durable, or chemically stable, and that it can therefore safely be used for preservation purposes. The phrase is not quantifiable; no standards exist that describe how long an "archival" or “archivally sound" material will last. buffered - The addition of alkaline agents such as calcium carbonate to paper or matboard in order to counteract the effect of acidic contamination. Use with paper, photographs, books, cotton and linen textiles, and wooden objects.


lignin-free - In paper, this term indicates there are only trace amounts of lignin (usually less than 1%). This is desirable because lignin in paper tends to decompose into corrosive and acidic elements. matboard - A type of paperboard made especially for matting pictures. >m useum board - Matboard whose pulp originates from cotton, which is broken down into fibers and molded into paper. 100% cotton museum board is the most chemically stable archival paper product. >c onservation board - Matboard manufactured from purified wood fiber, which is still archival but more economical.



neutral pH - Exhibiting neither acid nor base (alkaline) qualities; 7.0 on the pH scale. oxidation - Chemical reaction that converts an element into its oxide when combined with oxygen. Photos react chemically with oxidizing agents, resulting in discoloration. Photographic Activity Test (PAT) - Accelerated aging test using a specialized photo-emulsion in contact with a paper sample at elevated temperature and humidity levels to simulate the natural aging process. It is used to check the archival quality of various paper and plastic products intended for photographic storage. polyester - A common name for the plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Its characteristics include transparency, colorlessness, and high tensile strength. It is useful in preservation because it is chemically stable. Commonly used in sheet or roll film form to make folders, encapsulations, and book jackets, its thickness is often measured in mils. Common trade names are Mylar and Melinex by DuPont. polyethylene - A chemically stable, highly flexible, transparent plastic that is archival. Used in preservation to make sleeves for objects. It has a cloudy look and is best used when clarity is not required. polypropylene - A stiff, heat resistant, chemically stable plastic. Common uses in preservation are sleeves for photographs, slides, or films as well as plastic storage containers. Polypropylene has better clarity than polyethylene and less static charge than polyester. polyvinyl acetate (PVA) - A colorless transparent solid, it is usually used in adhesives, which are themselves also referred to as PVA or PVA adhesive. There are dozens of PVA adhesives; many are suitable for archival use because of their greater chemical stability.

preservation - The maintenance of objects in their original condition through retention, proper care, and, if the object has been damaged, restoration. relative humidity (RH) A measurement of how much humidity is in the air, compared to how much there could be. Warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air. For general archival storage, strive for RH between 35 - 55%; keep it as consistent as possible. restoration - The procedures that improve the condition of a damaged object and attempt to return it as closely as possible to its original condition. unbuffered - Paper without any alkaline buffering agents added. Use this when storing animal protein-based objects such as leather, feathers, pearls, wool, and silk. Also used for blueprints and cyanotypes. Tyvek® - Synthetic material composed of dense polyethylene threads woven and then compressed to form a paper-like sheet. Well-known for its characteristics of strength and archival storage capabilities. In a tape format, it is useful for matting and framing. UV filter - A material used to filter the ultraviolet (UV) rays out of visible light. UV radiation is potentially damaging to library, archival, and museum objects and more is present in sunlight and fluorescent light than in incandescent light. Removing UV radiation from storage and display spaces can reduce the rate of deterioration of the object(s). Certain acrylic sheet materials, especially those used in framing, have UV filtering properties built in.

polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - A plastic that is not chemically stable and can emit damaging hydrochloric acid as it deteriorates. It is not recommended for archival use.


window mat - A matboard cut with an opening to allow artwork or photograph mounted on a backing mat to be displayed and protected.



Additional Resources Archival Methods offers many more products and supplies that can be useful for your preservation projects. Making photo albums? Use archival mounting corners or adhesive. For special collections, consider elegant boxes that are as much display as they are storage. And we have boxes for textiles and other three-dimensional objects. NOTE: Listed item numbers are products sold by Archival Methods. Enter the item # in the search bar on to see full product description and pricing.

Onyx Portfolio Box The protection of a box with the display capabilities of an album. The drop spine design means that the top folds open and lays flat, allowing for easy, safe handling and a dramatic presentation. Rugged construction will stand up to repeated use. Many dimensions available. Choose from 13⁄8", 2", 3" or 4" depths. White or Black lining. Item #10-023

Textile Storage Kit Mounting Corners Attach photos or documents to album pages with these self-adhesive mounting corners. Repositionable for five minutes, then permanent. Polypropylene. Two styles and four sizes available. Item #50-010

Kit contains one metal edge box, one pair of cotton gloves, 20 feet of unbuffered tissue, one reusable plastic desiccant canister, one polyethylene bag, and a list of helpful storage tips. Item #04-500-P

Gudy Dot Dispenser Hand held dispenser lays out a ribbon of acid-free adhesive dots that can be used to join paper or other smooth surfaces. Later the items can be pulled apart and any adhesive can be removed by rubbing if off. No residue is left behind. Perfect for photo albums and matting and framing applications. Adhesive will not dry out or become brittle. Item #58-Gudy-Dot


Object Storage Kit Safely store your collection in our archival Object Storage Kits. We offer two sizes to conveniently organize a diverse assortment of collectibles, treasures, and family heirlooms. Item #04-OSK-LG


Additional Resources


Archival Methods Blog & Videos Refer to the many articles on our blog ( and Help Center videos ( for detailed information, including: • Product tutorials • Family history projects Blog and video series for product info & project tips  

• Presentation ideas • Matting and framing solutions • Preserving different types of items

Information from the American Institute for Conservation

Advice about photos, paper, books, A/V, and digital media

Conserve-o-Gram series includes caring for objects




Guidance on library materials, including newspapers & comics

Includes preservation and disaster planning information

Resources for organizing your photo collection


 preservation-leaflets/overview





Why Archival Methods?

Customer Service

Made in USA

Our knowledgeable team provides quick, helpful responses to your questions. Call or email us today!

Boxes, cases, and portfolios are handcrafted in our Rochester, NY manufacturing facility.

Careful Shipping

PAT Verified

Your order will be expertly packed for maximum product cushioning using recyclable materials.

We use archival quality materials that have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT).

In-Depth Information

Custom Options

Our blog articles and videos on the website provide detailed information about our products, how-to guides, and other preservation tips.

Can't find exactly the size you need? We can create boxes or binders and cut photo mats and frames to meet your specific dimensions. • 1-866-877-7050 • 655 Driving Park Avenue, Suite #5, Rochester, NY 14613 |  ArchivalMethods |  Archival_Methods