How to Archive Prints


Recently, I discovered an old box of family prints. How can I archive them? What precautions should I take?

Answer by: Mukesh Parpiani, Head of Photography and Gallery,

National Centre for the Performing Arts In today’s digital world, it’s very simple and easy to archive old photographs that have been unearthed after a long time. Simply take a piece of cotton or a soft cloth and wipe the dust off from the image. There is no need to use a water soaked cloth. If your prints have creases, don’t try to flatten them, as it will only damage it further.

We all have digital scanners and printers at our home or office. Clean the bed of the scanner before you place the image. After scanning, save the files on your computer. Subsequently, whenever you have time, edit them. If you don’t know Photoshop, then seek the help of digital studio or desktop publishing artist.

Once this is done, store your original photographs in butter paper envelopes, and keep them in a cool place, preferably in an air-conditioned room. You can retrieve them, as and when required, or use the digital copies. If these old prints are kept in a proper condition, they are priceless in the art world. If you need guidance, please reach out to me.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Better Photography.