27 August 2009

Using Originals

One question that is often posed when creating genealogy scrapbook pages is: should I use original photos? Just about 100% of the time, the answer back will be a resounding 'no!' However, I have used originals in my scrapbooks at times.

The main concern with using originals is that the photo will be damaged and exposed. When working with old photos, this may be the only copy available and is probably not replaceable. It only makes sense that you wouldn't want to risk the photo and it's very easy to use a copy. However - aren't scrapbooks just a fancy photo album? Aren't scrapbooks made to display photos?

As I said, I've used original photos in my scrapbooks before - in one in particular. My maternal grandfather had his old photos sitting in a box, piled on top of each other. My mom took these photos and put them into a scrapbook/photo album, simply putting them on white paper, using photo corners and writing labels on the white paper.

This had me thinking: what would be the difference if I put them on color paper, adding a title and a few embellishments? All of the products would be "archival safe," with only the paper and photo corners coming into direct contact with the photos. So, I took the photos and put them into a scrapbook.

Some key things to remember:
  1. Use all "archival safe" scrapbooking products.
  2. Do not permanently adhear the photos to anything. Use photo corners to place the photos on the page.
  3. Do not adhear anything to the photos - and even avoid having any other page elements touching the photo.
  4. Keep your scrapbook in a clean and dry location, away from direct sunlight.
  5. Use cotton gloves when handling the photos.
If you are at all concerned about damaging your photos while putting them into the scrapbook remember - you can use copies. But if you want to use the originals, I say go for it - just be careful.

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