How can I prevent an old photo from further yellowing?
Q. Dear Donia,
I have an old, black and white photo (looks like a Passport photo) of my father that has been yellowing. What can I do to remove and/or delay more yellowing?
A. Dear Ruby,
I am sorry to hear the photo of your father is yellowing! This often happens to older photos, and unfortunately there is little that can be done to reverse the yellowing. The best approach would be to have the photograph scanned and digitally retouched. You can then have the photo printed out to whatever size you would like and then safely store the original. To safely store the original, keep it in an area of your house that has a more stable climate than a basement or an attic and is away from water. You will ideally want to store the photo in a folder and box that are acid-free, lignin-free, and buffered, but if you can't do that, any folder and box with acid-free paper to interleave would work. The interleaving paper will help absorb the acids being generated by the photographic paper and will protect it if there is a spike in humidity which can be very damaging (hence no basements). You can get a good 8 1/2 x 11 Permalife Bond paper for this from our sponsor Hollinger Metal Edge.
I hope this helps and if you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask "Dear Donia"!