The day after Thanksgiving my family and I made the trek to visit my grandparents. They live about an hour away from our home, unfortunately we don't get to see them as often as I would like to. This particular day we ate, visited, watch some old home videos and then later in the afternoon we helped Grandma put her Christmas decorations up. As I was in the back of her closet getting Christmas decorations out I came across these: (which is why I'm telling you about what happened last Thanksgiving ;)
Well, I knew I couldn't leave them there so I grabbed them along with a stack of Christmas decorations and went back downstairs. As I opened the albums my jaw dropped. One of them was filled with more recent color photos (from the 70's and 80's) and the other two were chock full of beautiful, beautiful black and white photos.
Isn't she beautiful?!?! The sad part is that we have no idea who she is. There are many photos like this but also many that were written on or had writing next to them. I poured over each page in every album. Inside I was sick, I knew that these photos were crumbling because of the albums they were in. About 30 years ago in the late 70's early 80's manufacturers made what were called 'magnetic' albums. These albums were made from a thick cardstock, almost like chipboard material covered with thin strips of adhesive, very acidic adhesive. The adhesive is what was causing my family photos to fall apart. Covering these adhesive pages is a thin layer of plastic. Some of the plastic covering is made of PVC and some were made of Mylar. I don't know which plastic was on my grandparents album but either plastic is not good. The plastic keeps the acidic fumes close to the photos and therefore the photos deteriorate even faster.
If you look at the edges of the adhesive papers in these photos you can see the edges of the pages are already yellowing and starting to crumble.
When I saw the pages and some of the photos starting to yellow I knew I had to get them out of the albums. I asked my grandma if I could take the albums and restore them for her. Her reply made me smile, "sure, I'm so glad that you care enough about some old photos that you'll take care of them" Me, care about photos?!? My life pretty much revolves around photos.
I stuffed the albums in my bag and headed home. As we drove home I poured over the photos. I grew more and more apprehensive of this huge project I had just created for myself. When I got home I put the albums in my bedroom and let them sit. I just had a hard time wrapping my head around how I was going to get so many photos into albums. I knew I couldn't scrapbook them all in traditional layouts so they sat there in my bedroom. One day I was thinking about this massive project and then it dawned on me. Pocket pages! Yes, that was my answer! I could put the photos into pocket page protectors. It would preserve them and it wouldn't take nearly as long as making traditional layouts would.
Once I had a plan in my head I started gathering supplies.
I knew I wanted beautiful high quality albums, so We R Memory Keepers came to mind. It's no secret that their albums are beautiful and the best quality. WRMK also has pocket page protectors and journaling cards.
I also wanted to make sure there was a digital copy of these photos because most of them are one of a kind. I bought this Photo, Slide, and Negative Scanner and I must say that I was thrilled with the way that it worked. It scanned the photos directly to a memory card and all I have to do is upload those files to dropbox and then my entire family can have access to these priceless photos and it was only around $40.00.I also had one other supply gathered for this project. It's a little strange but it was a necessity.
Yup, it's dental floss. Unflavored, please. Oh, and band-aids. Don't forget band-aids.
Over the next couple of weeks I'll have more details about the entire process we went through to restore these old albums. (Yes, I said we. This is a project that took an army to complete.)
Make sure you stop by next week for Part 2 of Restoring Old Photo Albums into Pocket Page Scrapbooks.
(Update: Part Two and Part Three)
Here's a list of supplies that I gathered for this project:
We R Memory Keepers Albums
We R Memory Keepers Photo Sleeves
Photo, Slide, and Negative Scanner
Waxed Dental Floss
Project Life Journaling Pens