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The Best Way to Store Your Autographed Photos

Proper storage for your autograph collection is critical to maintaining your investment and enjoyment in the hobby for years to come. Unfortunately, it’s a step that is often overlooked. Inspired by a reader’s question about how I store my autographed photos, I created the following video to show you the method I’ve used successfully for over a decade.

Autograph storage supplies mentioned in the video:

How do you store your autographed photos?

About the author: is the founder of Autograph University. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Connect with him on Twitter at @mattraymond.

26 comments… add one

  • martin huynh February 25, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Hey Matt, just wondering for storing photos is Avery-Poly Vu a good brand? I know you said you use Ultra Pro, but is Avery Poly Vu good too?

  • Matt Raymond February 25, 2012, 3:17 pm

    As long as they’re acid/PVC-free they should be fine.

  • Bob February 20, 2016, 10:18 pm

    Yes, They are fantastic, i use them all the time

  • Brandon February 26, 2012, 11:49 pm

    Hi Matt! Coupled of quick questions, do you ever find dust or anything inside the pages since there is an opening at the top?

    I’m not sure if there are any pocket pages on the market where you can close the top of a page?

    So I should be looking for acid/PVC free pages? I assume PVC can destroy the pics…

  • Matt Raymond February 27, 2012, 12:06 am

    Hi Brandon, thanks for the questions. Occasionally I’ll find the thinnest layer of dust between pages but haven’t noticed anything on the photos (and I’ve never seen an encapsulated page like you mention). Stick with PVC and acid-free for any materials touching your graphs.

    Thanks for watching.
    Matt

  • Guy Chipparino December 16, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Hi Matt – thanks for the video, it was just what I was looking for. I have one important question that may seem silly but: I would store my photos in the binders you mentioned but I would store them standing up so the pressure of the weight would not press the photos against the protective sheets and possible cause some autographs to lift onto the sheets. But then I’ve noticed that some of the photos seem to be curved if I take them out of the sheet. So which is better – standing the binders up or laying them down? Maybe you should include that info in your video. Thanks.

  • Matt Raymond December 19, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Hi guys, thanks for the question. Are you using a backing board in each sheet? I’ve been storing mine vertically for years and haven’t noticed any bending. It would also be ideal to have a pretty full (but not overfilled) binder so the pages don’t fan out when you store them. You can also put backing boards in sheets as placeholders if you don’t have enough signed photos to fill a binder.

  • Lauren February 20, 2013, 9:20 pm

    Hi- quick question..Do the pages you buy need to say UV protection on them? In staples for instance they have pages that say acid free/ PVC free but don’t mention UV protection. Thanks!

  • Matt Raymond February 21, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    I buy the UltraPro pages I link to in the post, they do have UV protection. If you’re keeping your photos in a binder away from light sources you probably don’t have to worry about it, but compare costs and decide whether it’s worth it to have a little more peace of mind over the life of your collection.

    Matt

  • Lauren February 22, 2013, 6:11 pm

    ok thanks for the response.. Do you know if the magazine backing boards are also Acid/PVC free?

  • Matt Raymond February 22, 2013, 8:36 pm

    Yes, they are acid-free.

  • David Whiteman October 3, 2013, 10:39 am

    Hi Matt

    Great video, can you help in anyway as to how i can get these types of items in the UK?

    thanks

  • Matt Raymond October 8, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Hi David, thanks for the question. It appears the Amazon UK site has some of the items like the binders and UltraPro pages. You could probably find a similar portfolio as well.

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  • Anoop Sunkara December 28, 2014, 5:29 pm

    Thanks for making the video. But I heard that polypropylene pages have something on them that after time will smear the autograph. And in general I am worried about storing my autographs in pages because of my autographs smearing. So is it true that after time that autographs will smear?

  • Matt Raymond January 8, 2015, 9:52 pm

    Hi Anoop, I haven’t seen evidence to suggest that – what alternative do you prefer to store them?

  • Anoop Sunkara January 1, 2015, 3:04 pm

    On this website I heard that there is a slip agent on polypropylene that will eventually fully move to the surface which will then smear autographs.

  • Anoop Sunkara January 1, 2015, 3:05 pm
  • Anoop Sunkara January 12, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Thanks. I was just making sure that polypropylene pages won’t smudge autographs over time.

  • Brandi May 12, 2015, 11:22 am

    Hi Matt! Just found your YouTube channel and site and it has already been a huge help and has inspired me to get back into graphing. I was wondering if you would recommend using backing for the large portfolios that you suggested above. If so, what would you use?

  • Jensen May 30, 2015, 8:31 am

    Hi Matt, thanks for posting the video. I will store all my autographs exactly as you did in the video. But because I live in a very hot and humid country, will my autographs stick to the pocket pages after years later? (It happened with my family album, the photos got stuck with the pocket after years of storing) I’m afraid even with PVC and Acid free pocket. This kind of weather might ruin my autographs… Will it? And do I have any other option in storing my autographs?

  • Matt Raymond May 30, 2015, 2:36 pm

    As you know, humid conditions pose a risk for your autographs. Hard to say if they will definitely get damaged but it sounds like you have some experience in that area. Wonder if you can put a dehumidifier in the room you’re storing your graphs. There is an ongoing cost associated with that but I don’t have any strategy for dealing with humid air other than trying to make the environment safer.

    Matt

  • Andrew M January 3, 2016, 11:33 am

    Matt,
    I got a bella medallion flora album (basically like wedding book) for Christmas to put all of my signed 8×10’s in. Is this good to preserve autographs in or not? Let me know I greatly appreciate it. Thanks

  • Matt Raymond January 20, 2016, 8:58 pm

    Not familiar with that type of album – as long as the pages are acid-free and have some UV protection I think you should be ok.

  • William February 9, 2016, 8:42 am

    hi i have been using the ultra pro top loaders i know it takes up a bit more space but are those ok to use i have been just putting the 8x10s in them but now I’m thinking i should get the protector sleeves as well so i can put the pic in the picture sleeve and then in the top loader.. what do you think ?

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