Thanks to camera phones, taking photographs has never been easier, and people are capturing countless images to share on social media. As a result, photos have basically become disposable, eliciting, at best, a brief glance on Facebook or Instagram before disappearing into the Cloud. Compare that to when photos were available only as prints and treated as cherished possessions. Fortunately, photographs can still be printed, though storing them over the long haul can be a bit of a pain. That’s where archival photo albums come in. Made of acid-free materials that won’t damage your pictures, they let you organize your images any way you want, preserve them for years on end, and provide the tactile satisfaction of flipping through physical pages. In that respect, archival photo albums offer a way to keep your past present. Find out which is best for you in our list of recommendations below.
1. Pioneer Fabric Cover Photo Album
This midsize photo album, handsomely covered in cloth, binds its pages together with a hardcover spine. The front features a small frame you can slip a photo into through a slot on the inside of the cover. The album can hold 200 photos measuring up to 4 by 6 inches and contains transparent sleeves with pockets that can accommodate two horizontal images per page or one image vertically. A memo area next to each pocket provides space to write a caption. Acid, lignin, and PVC free, it’s an ideal size if you’re looking for something that can safely store a substantial—though not overwhelming—number of photos.
2. Jot & Mark Photo Album Set
Measuring 8.5 by 9.5 inches, this album uses a three-ring binder system to keep pages together, allowing you to shuffle not only single images but entire pages at a time if you like. It can hold two 4-by-6-inch images per page and a total of 200 photos. It also has six dividers with gold-foiled tabs that enable you to divide your photographs under headings such as birthdays, vacations, graduations, and more. A variety of cover designs, from demure polka dots to splashy florals, are available.
3. Pioneer Bonded Leather Photo Album
This photo album is the bigger brother to our top pick, also from Pioneer. It features a leather cover available in black, brown, or burgundy. At just over 14 inches tall and 9.25 inches wide, it will have a substantial presence in your living room or library. Bidirectional pockets hold up to 300 4-by- 6-inch photos (three per page), with space to add a caption to each image. Its clear-plastic slipcase adds an extra layer of protection for your photographs.
4. Kolo Noci Photo Album
The diminutive Kolo Noci photo album is intended to hold your most precious keepsake photographs or to commemorate one important occasion. It’s small (just 4.5 by 6.75 inches) and holds only 24 photos, with one per page. Made with archival, artist-grade paper, this album’s pages are bound with a robust spine that will keep them nice and flat. The book is wrapped in Italian fabric in your choice of nine luscious colors and includes a grosgrain ribbon closure. These mini albums can be bundled together in an optional archival storage box.
5. Artmag Extra Large Photo Album
You know those tons of photos stuffed into shoe boxes that you’ve been meaning to put somewhere you can easily see them? Well, we’ve got a great suggestion for you. This Artmag album holds 600 photographs between its stitched leatherbound covers, which are padded to ensure comfortable handling. The album, which comes in seven colors, contains 60 sheets (120 pages total) that can each hold three horizontal 4-by-6-inch photos and two verticals of the same size.