Do you have family photographs stored in those "magnetic photo albums?" If so, get rid of them quickly. They are eating your photographs.
The Practical Archivist writes, "These chemical sandwiches of doom were popular from the 1970s through the 1990s. All of my childhood photos were carefully placed in this style of album. Ironically, the photos I never got around to organizing are in better shape."
The article contains illustrations that show step-by-step instructions on how to rescue damaged photos from the magnetic photo albums. You can view the article at: http://www.jacobsarchival.com/rescue.html.
Warning: The article is a bit self-promoting as the author wishes to sell a $25 "Photo Rescue Kit." Actually, that sounds like a good idea to me. You could purchase the same items separately on your own, although I suspect you'd end up paying about $25 for them anyway.
The "Photo Rescue Kit" consists of:
- 1 Micro-Spatula, Wonder Tool of Photo Rescue
- 1 pair of white cotton gloves to keep the oils and salts on your hands away from your treasured photographs. This is probably the easiest thing you can do to extend the life of your photos and negatives.
- Photo illustrated instructions so you know how to use the tool correctly and safely.
- Soft No. 1 pencil for marking the back of vintage prints.
- Stabilo pencil for marking the back of modern plastic-coated prints.