Heat, Cold, Light, and Other Things to Avoid When Storing Precious Memories
November 16, 2017
Many of yesterday’s memories still mean a lot to us today. Yet, not everyone takes the time to properly care for their collections of old cassettes, video tapes, 8mm film, photographs, and vinyl records. The materials these items are made of slowly deteriorate over time and are sensitive to the environments in which they are kept. It’s important to know what to avoid when when storing precious memories.
The Usual Suspects
Have you ever tried to reminisce only to be disappointed by faded photos, warped tapes, scratched albums, or torn film? These dust-covered items containing your special moments have a lot of enemies.
- Extreme temperatures
- Humidity and moisture
- Dust and dirt
- Oils from our skin
- Sunlight or direct light
- Insects and animals
These things all play a part in degradation. Even just handling them causes wear and tear. And playing the tapes or videos on old equipment that may be dusty, dirty, or worn out does harm, too. So what do you do?
Preserving and Storing Precious Memories
If you’d still like to reminisce with that crate of old video tapes or box of family photos, there’s ways to keep them away from the enemies. Storing precious memories in a basement, attic, garage, or shed is never a good idea. These areas are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, as well as humidity and moisture that promote mold growth. Besides being dusty or dirty, these places are sometimes visited by destructive insects and pests.
It’s best to find an unused room or closet that has no windows and a controlled temperature that ranges between the mid 60s and low 70s. Always keep tapes in their cases and albums in their sleeves. If you have any of these that are missing protective covering, pick some up at thrift stores, yard sales, or online. As for cassettes and videos, never open their plastic encasements or poke your fingers inside. Store albums and videos upright, like books on a shelf, and never stack them.
Keep photos, cassettes, film, etc. away from heating and cooling vents, yet in well-ventilated areas. Always keep them off of the ground. Organize photos in envelopes or file folders. If you are storing them in albums, use ones with acid-free sheet protectors or sleeves.
Bring Your Valuable Memories to an Expert
Old-school materials deteriorate over time no matter how well you care for them. Transferring the content digitally is the best way to store and preserve them. It’s not a difficult process, but it takes time, know-how, and special equipment. Instead of losing your family keepsakes to time and the elements, call Disc Hounds at 610-696-8668. We’ll digitally transfer them so you can easily enjoy them for years to come.