Archiving prints

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    Hello, Knowledgeable People! I’ll hopefully either get great advice or great snark, right? Sorry for being a bit tolstoy-ish here…

    I am trying to rescue over 30 years of snapshots out of those old “magnetic” albums, plus many more in several shoeboxes. Those are sorted in plain ziplock baggies. Many of the prints coming out of the albums are already damaged by color shifts and fading. All will be scanned, with the best fixed up in photoshop, but I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to keep them after that.

    While I’m trying to come to terms with dumping a lot of them (how many prints do I really need of arizona mesas?), I would still have several thousand photos to store. Many are of friends who are no longer with us and their families now want copies, which is what started me on all this to begin with. Most are 5×3, many 4 x 6, with a smattering of larger prints too.

    At the moment, until I scan them, each group of photos is getting wrapped up in acid-free copier paper, with several of these bundles rubber banded together. Those are going into plastic and cardboard boxes, both also marked acid free. While I figure it’s a step in the right direction, I don’t think that will work long term will it?

    Is storing acid-free wrappers in a non-acid free container a big problem? For instance, will it work if I put the acid free copier paper bundles into regular envelopes and then back into the old shoeboxes?

    I have been trying all week to figure out how to archive these, and what I’m finding online is overwhelming. Acid free, lignen free, tyvek, poly this and poly that, P.A.T and this spec and that spec. Too many choices, so many are $$$$ for this many photos, and so many are too bulky. What would be perfect for me is decently safe ziplocks and safe shoeboxes. Cheap.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you. Here’s a cute dog for you:

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