How can I safely frame my photographs?

See Preservation Guidelines for Matting and Framing. Most important:

  • All materials in direct contact with the photograph should pass the photographic activity test (PAT) (ISO 18916)
  • The frame should be designed so that the surface of the photograph does not touch the frame glass/glazing (keep the photograph from touching the glass either with a window mat or with spacers in the frame)

Over time, all photographs exposed to light (even if behind UV-filtering glass) will undergo irreversible light damage; if the photograph is of personal, monetary, or historic value, consider framing a facsimile and keeping the original in a good storage and storage environment.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
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Preservation Directorate
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C.  20540-4530

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