Over time I have various prints from my photos, from 30x40 cm up to 60x90 cm. Mostly chemical prints from online good quality photo labs, but some are fine art prints, so inkjet (I think).

They always come rolled in a container, which is fine up to 2-3 but then becomes impractical, and very space consuming. The advantage of such containers is that they are airtight, so that insects (namely silverfishes) cannot get inside.

How can I store properly prints at home? It does not need to hold at the same time all, small and large, prints.

Ideally, it should be flat for easy browsing and retrieval, vertical for reduced space consumption, airtight against insects.

Should I also worry about interposing some foil between prints?

If needed, I can build myself boxes with wood, acrylic, polystyrene plates and so on. However, a rigid box placed vertically would let the prints curl and collapse, so something to keep them flat against one side would be needed.


2 Answers 2


I think you're looking for a unicorn when it comes to your large prints (60x90). The only way to store those archivally is going to be flat and probably in not-inexpensive boxes or filing drawers. Obviously, you also want to make sure to keep the prints as dry, cool, and in the dark as possible.

With the smaller prints it might be possible to use something like Itoya Profolios, which have archival-quality polypropylene sleeves and can be used with a bookcase. So long as you can keep them upright with spacers or bookends [the covers aren't rigid], the prints shouldn't curl. Obviously, they're not hermetically sealed, but being surrounded by plastic makes it less likely the silverfish will feed on a print. But, if you're already going to the trouble to find a good storage cabinet with large drawers for the bigger prints, it probably make more sense to put all your prints in it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm thinking about building a box out of acrylic plates, like shoebox but larger, same height. I would use a Styrofoam plate inside with some springs pushing from the cover down, so that when I store the box sideways the prints won't curl. Or I could build a box there the opening is on the short side, where the height of the box could be adjusted from outside to match the amount of prints. As you say, no ready made product is available, but storing vertically is a must for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – FarO
    Oct 20, 2023 at 7:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FarO, just FYI, it's completely kosher here on SE to answer your own question (and even accept it). \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Oct 20, 2023 at 8:19

Flat file cabinets are the standard method for archival storage of loose paper.

A flat file cabinet can store all sizes up to the maximum dimensions of the drawers.

They are not inexpensive and take up significant floor space…though stacked flat files can be topped with a work surface for examining their contents.

However not all work justifies the expense of best practices.


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