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Vintage Tip For Organizing Photographs & Ephemera

This is a vintage snapshot or photograph storage tip from Edward O’Connor of Mineola, NY, I found published in Household Help, Fifth Series of Hints & Time Savers for the Home (offered by New York’s Picture Newspaper and published by News Syndicate Co., Inc., 1966).

The tip reads:

Before storing snapshots, classify them according to the year in which the pictures were taken. The put them in individual envelopes with the year written on the upper right hand corner and file in suitable container.

At first read, the tip seems quite quaint; not all of us recall the days of bringing home multiple packets of photographs from the film processor. But even in today’s digital age, we do sometimes have more prints than photo frames, right? Plus, we collectors know that once you bring home your garage sale, flea market, thrift store, and antique mall finds, there are piles of vintage photographic images, antique postcards and other bits of old and odd ephemera that we must deal with…

I’ve written about this problem of storing ephemera before — and sadly, there’s been little sharing of what you all do. So maybe I’m not the only one struggling with organization?

While O’Connor’s tip may seem faulty in terms of sorting or organizing by year, certainly it’s a starting place — and the basic idea can be extrapolated into other categories or themes that suit you and your collection(s) best. Just remember, you absolutely want to interpret O’Connor’s envelopes and “suitable container” to mean proper archival photo storage items and/or decent archival quality papers, sleeves & containers in general. But hey, this is a start.

And we all have to start somewhere.

Published by

Deanna

Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.

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