Don’t let magnetic photo albums create a ‘sticky’ situation

Many of us own old magnetic photo albums, which seemed like a safe and organized way to store photographs at the time. However, we now know the cardboard pages, acidic glue, and plastic covering can deteriorate pictures over time. 

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First achieving popularity in the 1960s, pages in magnetic or ‘sticky’ albums were constructed from thick paper stock coated with glue and enveloped in a plastic cover. Over time, conservators have discovered that the adhesive can eat through the backs and sides of the photos and the plastic covering seals in the acidic fumes, further accelerating deterioration.

It’s best to remove your photos from these types of albums, store them in acid-free archival boxes, and place them in a relatively dry, cool, and stable environment. While these measures will help protect against deterioration, physical materials are still at risk of fire, theft, or water damage — which is why making digital versions is vital for preserving your family’s visual history.

The Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress provide some helpful tips to avoid further damage when removing photos from magnetic albums. Some of the more gentle approaches involve sliding a micro spatula or piece of unwaxed dental floss behind each picture to help release it from the page.

At Memory Labs, we can remove your photos from albums for a flat rate handling fee. This option is perfect for those who want to save time or who would prefer to have a trained professional handle the removal process.

Alternatively, if you would like to preserve your albums as artifacts or find it challenging to remove photos from your albums safely, our technicians can capture each page as one image. We then provide you with a file for each full album page as well as each photo from that page in its own enhanced and cropped file.

 

Sample of an album page captured as one image

 

Sample of a cropped image from an album page

 

All work, including album removal, is overseen by our head archivist. And, our technicians are specially-trained; following industry standards and best practices. We know how important your family’s visual history is, and keeping it safe is our priority.

We will return your original photos to you in archival boxes based on their size and format, and you will receive a download link for your files, or you can choose to have your digitized photos put onto a hard drive. We will return your photo albums if requested, although it’s important to note that magnetic or sticky albums aren’t reusable.

At Memory Labs, we digitize your family’s old photos and videos so they are preserved for the next generation. Our advanced technology can improve picture quality, so your family’s treasure trove of memories will look their best when they’re shown, shared, and saved for the future. 

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What We Do

We digitize your old photos and videos to preserve them for future generations using advanced technology to improve the picture.

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How It Works

Find out how the Memory Labs process works step-by-step; from preparing your photos, videos and audio, to receiving your digital files.

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Get Started

Learn how you can deliver your photos, videos and audio to Memory Labs. Choose from in-store drop-off, local pick-up and Canada-wide shipping.