Book Review: Preserving Your Family Photographs: How to Organize, Present, and Restore Your Precious Family Images

by Maureen A. Taylor (Author) “A woman at one of my lectures stood up and announced that she had a solution for organizing all the photographs she had collected…” (more)

Amazon reviews:

Taylor may give readers a good place to start in their efforts to preserve family photographs, but offers information that is both contradictory and vague.

She gives a basic explanation of the “enemies” your photographs are facing, even breaking down information on particular types of photographs, tintypes, Polaroids, etc. But does not bother defining some basic terms in the glossary such as lignin. Nor are many of her suggestions for which supplies are appropriate specific enough. Eg., what kind of brush should I use to clean photos? I know that Nylon brushes are probably not soft enough for treasured photos. Even worse she says polyethylene is a bad material to store your photos in, but a few pages later suggests using polyethylene freezer bags for freezer storage of items.

Taylor includes lengthy lists of resources for, and more information on preservation. But some of the web addresses she lists no longer exist.

While she has some good suggestions for long-term storage of photo collections, I would not recommend this book to anyone trying to learn about photographic preservation.

Your Polaroid snapshots are fading as you read this. Those “magnetic” photo albums with the adhesive pages are gassing your family pictures to crumbs. Your digital images may not be viewable by your great grandchildren. But don’t give up hope – take action. Maureen Taylor’s “Preserving Your Family Photographs” tells you how to take charge and protect your family’s photographic history. “Preserving Your Family Photographs” shows you how taking some simple steps now will slow down the aging process of your photographs. And its doesn’t require a chemistry set. The book further discusses how and when to choose a professional conservator, concerns about digital photography, how to organize your collection, and even how to safely place your treasures in a scrapbook. This book takes up where “Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs” leaves off. After you’ve identified your family photographs, “Preserving Your Family Photographs” tells you how to keep them for generations to come.


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