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Handling & Storing Slides Properly

Slides should be treated with the same care you would give to valuable negatives. Selecting a storage method and preventing damage is crucial to maintaining any collection.

Selecting a Storage Method

To select the best possible storage method, assess how often you will need access to the slides and how many slides you need to store. For a large quantity of slides, a slide file storage box will work best. For small collections or slides that will be referred to on a regular basis, use polypropylene slide pages stored in a box album. Using slide pages will protect the slides from damage due to excessive handling. All storage materials should have passed the Photo Activity Test (PAT).

Areas of Concern

The four areas of most concern are fingerprints, scratches, dust and light. Always handle slides from the mount and wear anti-static gloves to protect against dust and static particles. Do not place slides on a tabletop or desk where they can easily get scratched. Do not leave slides on a light box any longer than necessary, as extended exposure to light can cause fading. The same is true for the amount of time in a projector. Store slides vertically, not stacked and banded.


Keep your slide collection in a closed storage box or cabinet when not in use to protect against dust and light. Keep the slides in a cool, dry location avoiding any area that experiences rapid or frequent fluctuations in temperature or humidity; such as an attic or basement. If your collection is valuable, duplicates should be made for viewing and projection, leaving the originals safely stored.