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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    How to Freeze Water Damaged Photos for Future Conservation

    Water damage image large

    Water damaged photographs can often be salvaged, but you may not have time or resources to take care of your family memories immediately. The Northeast Document Conservation Center recommends this simple method for postponing photo recovery efforts --

    1. Air drying is the preferred method for dealing with water-damaged items, but when this is not practical, or if photos are stuck together, freezing is a viable alternative.
    2. Use waxed paper to wrap or interleave individual photographs before freezing to make later separation easier.
    3. Work with high-priority items first.
    4. Label containers.
    5. Place items in freezers at below 0 degrees F to prevent thawing and refreezing.
    6. DO NOT freeze audio and video tapes, computer tapes, discs, or CD-Roms, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes or tintypes.
    7. Items may remain in the freezer indefinitely and will eventually dry out.
    8. Consult a conservator for assistance when you are ready to work with your photos again.

    For More Information, see

    Northeast Document Conservation Center Preservation Leaflet Series:

    Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs

    Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records


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