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Assembling Materials in Scrapbooks & Albums

When assembling your scrapbook or photo album pages, be aware that the method and materials you use will make a difference in whether your memorabilia will be preserved or damaged.

For important documents, memorabilia or original works of art, photo corners are the recommended method to hold items to a page. Paper corners that are acid- and lignin-free are pre-gummed and can be removed if desired. Clear polypropylene photo corners are self-adhesive and unobtrusive. Use larger corners for items that are 8 x 10” or larger so as not to damage the corners of your item.

Never use rubber cement, pressure-sensitive tapes such as masking or cellophane tape, staples, or hot glue gun adhesives as they can damage your items. Acid-free acrylic adhesives may be used for some materials, but is not recommended for use with valuable materials. If used, only a small amount, preferably a drop in each corner is necessary.

Older albums, with photos and documents and notations that cannot be removed without damage, should be preserved intact. To safely preserve and store such an album, place interleaving sheets between the album pages as a barrier to protect against acid migration. The interleaving paper should be slightly smaller than the album page but large enough to cover the photos and inserts. Buffered paper can be used for all of the common photograph types. The album should then be stored in an archival clamshell box, sized to fit so that the album does not slide around in the box. If necessary, a custom box can be ordered to fit the album. Please note that if the album cover is made of leather, it should be wrapped in unbuffered tissue prior to storage in a buffered archival box.