Tips for Saving Your Digital Photographs

Many of us are taking many, maybe all, of our personal photographs with digital cameras and cell phones. There are steps that you can take to save them for the future.

Saving
*Download digital photographs from your camera and cell phone to a computer hard drive or an external hard drive regularly.

*Save digital photographs that you have posted to sites like Facebook or Flickr to your computer hard drive or an external hard drive.

*Save digital photographs that you want to preserve long term in multiple places, such as your computer hard drive and an external hard drive.

*Cloud storage is another possibility for saving your digital photographs, but pay attention to the stability of the company.

Saving Digital Photographs on CD-Rs
*If you save image files on CD-Rs, do not delete them from your computer hard drive or external hard drive.

*Check CD-Rs with image files regularly, they may need to be refreshed.

*CD-Rs with digital photographs that you receive from photography studios should also be saved on your computer hard drive or an external hard drive.

*Store and handle CD-Rs with digital photographs carefully. Keep them in envelopes or plastic cases and label them.

Photograph taken in the streets of Baghdad, Iraq by Ken Tischler while he was on active duty in 2003. Mr. Tischler donated the digital photographs taken during his tour of duty to the Ohio Historical Society.

File Formats, Folders and File Names
*Save images in a file format, such as tiff or jpg, that can be read by many computer programs.

*Change the file names that cameras and cell phones automatically give digital photographs to something meaningful, but not too long. This will make it easier for you and others to enjoy your photographs in the future.

Example: Christmas2011_001

*Organize digital photographs of the same events together in folders.

Making Prints
*Archivists believe that careful handling and storage is necessary to make prints from digital photographs last.

*For home printing, best results will be achieved by using the ink and paper recommended for your make and model of printer.

*Commercial printing services are often comparable in price and usually higher in quality than home printing.

More Information
Library of Congress: Keeping Personal Digital Photographs

The Signal, Digital Preservation blog: Four Easy Tips for Preserving Your Digital Photographs

Kansas City Public Library: Five Tips for Preserving Your Digital Photos

L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

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This entry was posted in Conservation and Preservation, Digitization, Photograph Collections. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Tips for Saving Your Digital Photographs

  1. Great tips, Lisa. You always have really good ideas.

  2. David Mays says:

    Those are great ideas. For more Ohio photos please visit http://www.mayspix.com
    Plus for local history check out my Ohio history blog: http://www.mayspix.com/blog.html
    2 brand new articles about Mantua and Ravenna.

  3. Pingback: State Library of Ohio Blog » Blog Archive » May is Labor History Month

  4. Pingback: Save your digital photos, Part 1: Why you need to do it | Glancing Backwards

  5. Pingback: Save your digital photos, Part 2: How I do it | Glancing Backwards

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