Chances are, you have an old shoebox or bin lying around your home or studio, chock-full of photographs, sketches, or other keepsakes. A shoebox is a fine storage solution, but not one that will preserve its contents for many lifetimes. If you’d like your artworks and collectibles to have the greatest chance of lasting for generations, it’s vital that you keep them in a photo box. These photo boxes are made in a variety of materials, but they should absolutely be acid-free to keep your papers from becoming brittle. Upgrade your storage methods with our top archival-quality picks below.
Lineco Archival Storage Box
These boxes by the leading manufacturer of archival materials land at the top of our list because they present a winning combination of protection, affordability, and looks. Designed with a clever front wall that drops open, they allow you to slide material in and out with ease while avoiding placing pressure on your valuables. Inside, find enough space to store a generous amount of flat documents, from photographs to art prints. Made of durable fiberboard, they are also completely acid-free for long-term storage, featuring a buffered exterior and neutral nonbuffered interior—separated by a polyester barrier. The lid fits snugly to protect against light and dust. The box is sturdy with a bit of flex, and its corners are metal-reinforced. Choose from nine sizes!
Itoya ProFolio Archive-All Storage Box
Matte black and professional looking, this is a storage box you won’t feel obligated to keep in a closet. It’s made of a sturdy polypropylene with zero flex, which means you can safely stack them if you buy multiples. You can also feel comfortable transporting it even if it’s loaded with heavier photographs. The inside, which has a 1¾-inch depth, is acid-free and lignin-free. The classic clamshell design provides quick but secure access—and you never have to worry about misplacing it.
ANOTHER GOOD OPTION
Gaylord Archival Tan Flip-Top Photo Preservation Box
If you need a storage solution for larger photos or photos in many different sizes, consider this preservation box. Featuring a flip-top lid, it resembles a pastry box and offers both depth and volume. You can choose to either stack your photographs or place them upright for more convenient browsing. Made from acid- and lignin-free boxboard, it effectively resists degradation, and its top is close-fitted to keep out unwanted pollutants. Like a true museum-quality product, this one features corners finished with metal-edge clamps to offer extra strength.
Pioneer Photo Storage Boxes
If you’re organizing on a budget, consider Pioneer Photo’s storage boxes, which feature a shoebox-like design. They come in many fun colors and are an ideal size for storing hundreds of photographic prints. These are acid-free boxes, but they are less sturdy than the competition—they don’t have reinforced corners, for one thing. But if you aren’t planning on moving them around frequently, these boxes will hold up well over time.
Barhon Photo Storage Box
This uniquely designed box helps you sort and protect your photographs. Structured like a small trunk, it features 18 inner photo cases that are acid-free, which are slotted upright for fast access. These cases can hold up to 100 4-by-16-inch photographs, and they are translucent so you can easily identify the contents. Two fasteners keep each case snapped tightly shut to keep out dust. The entire container measures about 14¼ x 10½ inches with a 4¾-inch depth and two snap fasteners plus a handle.