A photographic negative is a highly sensitive object. It can be damaged by slight moisture, liquid and even air. You need to make sure that you take good care of them for future use. You don't want your hard work to go up in smoke. Photographers, technicians and many others have their own preferred method of storing negatives.
Go through the list below; you may find some you would want to try.
- You can put negatives in an archival negative holder. Archival negative holders are acid free and can hold 35 mm strips, which you could put inside an album. The capability of this type of storage method has been proven by a number of photo enthusiasts.
- Buy pocket pages and place the negatives and the contact sheets in one place. You need to have it folded to assure that you can prevent it from being destroyed and you can easily get it when needed.
- Place negatives in a three-ring binder. Label the binder the way you would most easily remember it. You can store by dates or by events. You can even label it by people's names.
- Put negatives in a plastic storage box after putting them in negative sleeves. Once you have them stored, make sure that you keep the box in a place that is not humid or exposed to direct sunlight. Remember not to put any kind of pressure on the box. Label the box by date or with some brief information so you don't have to open it to find out what is in it.
- Use translucent storage paper, which is not prone to acid or chlorine damage. Do not put the translucent storage paper near a document scanner or a photo scanner, however, as that might have dire results on the negative. There are some storage papers in the market that have index cards for faster labeling.
- Steel filing bars can be used for large negatives, which are commonly used in hospitals for x-rays. Steel filing bars are heavy duty and do not contain lead. Storage won't be a problem because you can even hang the bar wherever you want.
- Buy wide folders online or at photo shops, because regular folders will not suffice. Put an envelope made of plastic in the folder and add a description of the negative. Place the negatives in the negative sleeves. You can put store 36 films doing it this way.
- You can use a 7" x 5" negative storage sheet. It has a lot of space but a number of holes, which makes it better for storage, but not very popular.
There are more expensive ways to store negatives, but you might try these tips first to see how they work for you. Although we live in a digital world, it is best to keep some things treasured for a long time. That precious shot or that family moment is truly priceless. Going through a little bit of trouble to keep your photographic negatives damage resistant can pay off in the future.