Preserving an Old Journal with Photos and Newspaper Clippings

Dear Donia,
How do I preserve an old journal with photos and newspaper clippings?

Old journal

Q. Dear Donia,

After checking your advice column, I didn't see anything about the silver in old photos. Is there a way to preserve them and prevent them from further loss of silver? I have a very old journal that my great-grandmother kept for my grandfather when he was young. It is handwritten and includes lots of photos and newspaper articles. It is absolutely priceless, as they are both deceased. The book is written on regular paper and in a small three-ring binder with a leather cover, with his name embossed on the front. It is now in my possession, and I want to do something before I put it in a safe deposit box. Thank you so much, Laura

A. Dear Laura,

What a great item to have from your great-grandfather! Unfortunately, there is no way to completely stop the deterioration of photos. What we can do is slow the deterioration down. The nice thing for you is that the journal is in a three-ring binder. This means you can interleave the pages with the photographs with paper that will protect the photo from the pollutants in the air and those generated by the original paper. Interleaving paper should be acid-free, buffered, and pass the Photo Activity Test (PAT). Paper like this can be found from our sponsor, Hollinger Metal Edge. Best of luck to you with this project!