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How To Save Photos Damaged By The Storm

damaged photo
(Photo by tomylees, Flickr)

I have spoken to so many area residents who say that the worst loss they suffered were the memories…boxes of photos that got destroyed by water damage. Here’s some advice from photography experts:

If you have recovered photographs or photo albums that were damaged by the superstorm, don’t throw them out. There is hope for saving storm-damaged photos.

According to the Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware, experts on photograph preservation as well as students at UD are triaging to provide you with advice and resources for salvaging storm-damaged photographs.

Email questions to with the subject line “Save My Photograph.” and the UD team will provide recommendations for treatment, as well as contact information for professional conservators if requested.

Here are some general tips:

— Don’t dispose of your photographs even if they have dirt on them or have become distorted from being in water.

— Allow the phtographs to air dry. Place them on screens or paper towels to allow the air to circulate around them. Do not use a hair drier or other direct source of heat, as this can lead to further damage.

— If photographs are in plastic sleeves, remove them from the sleeves to dry.

— If the photographs are stuck together, allow them to air dry. Conservators can later do their best to disassociate them while miinimizing damage.

— Document everything – snap a photograph of the damaged photos with your cell phone or other camera.


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