Gelatin-Silver prints have a deep, bright range of grays and deep, dark blue-blacks. The surface can be matt or glossy. Silver mirroring is characteristic of late 19th and early 20th century prints. Chemical residue from the developing process generally causes fading, loss of detail in the highlights, and in some cases yellow/browning of the print. Sepia toned prints from the early 1900s display less mirroring.


It is best to separate photographic prints from negatives. However, compromise between what is ideal and what is feasible must be made. Place acid-free sheets of paper between each print if more than one print is housed in a folder. House similar sized items together. Acid-free boxes add additional protection for photographic collections. Atmospheric pollutants, chiefly pollutants that may attract mold or insects, in addition to light, heat, and humidity can cause print deterioration.

Store in a cool, dry dark area where temperature and humidity do not fluctuate. Ideal conditions are 65° - 68° F and 40%-50% RH.

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