The Best Archival Photo Albums for Keeping Cherished Pics Safe

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

You can’t beat the experience of looking at physical photographs, but figuring out how to store them over the long haul can be a huge deterrent to taking them. With archival photo albums, you can keep your pictures organized and you don’t have to worry about images yellowing over time. Made of PVC- and acid-free materials that won’t damage your photos, these albums 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. Note that self-adhesive or “magnetic” photo albums are not archival, and if mounting your photos, make sure you use an archival (and preferably reversible!) method such as mounting corners or removable adhesive. Find out which is best for you in our list of recommendations below.

More from ARTnews.com

How we pick each product:
Our mission is to recommend the most appropriate artists’ tool or supply for your needs. Whether you are looking for top-of-the line equipment or beginners’ basics, we’ll make sure that you get good value for your money by doing the research for you. We scour the Internet for information on how art supplies are used and read customer reviews by real users; we ask experts for their advice; and of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as artists, teachers, and craftspeople.

ARTnews RECOMMENDS
Kolo Hudson 3Up Photo Album
Kolo creates sophisticated photo albums that are designed to be part of lifelong photo collections. They are archival from cover to cover, featuring premium Italian-milled book cloth and paper made in the company’s own mill, following its own recipe. Each holds 300 4-by-6-inch photographs that you can easily slip into polypropylene pockets—you don’t have to fuss with glue or adhesive corners. These high-clarity sleeves are sturdy and reach about two thirds of each page; the remaining space can be used to write descriptions, and the 80-pound, acid-free paper can tolerate inky pens without bleed. The covers come in an array of colors, and albums look attractive when placed together on a shelf.

Related Articles

An abstract painting with shades red, yellow, blue, white, and purple. The brushstrokes seem to spiral and explore from the center.
An abstract painting with shades red, yellow, blue, white, and purple. The brushstrokes seem to spiral and explore from the center.


After Turning to Painting Late in Life, Former Navy Fighter Pilot Ted Hartley Hosts a Benefit Exhibition for Ukraine


Warhol Foundation Announces Recipients of 2022 Arts Writer Grants


BTS Leader RM Honored by South Korean Agency for Helping Preserve Korean Cultural Artifacts

Kolo Hudson 3Up Photo Album

Price: $38.94

Buy Now From Amazon

WE ALSO LIKE
Semikolon Black Page Photo Albums
Spiral-bound albums are a great option if you prefer albums that can lie totally flat when open. These durable ones from Semikolon are available in three sizes—holding 20, 25, or 45 sheets—and lots of fun colors like marine, lime, and hot pink. The cover is made of high-quality linen over heavy book board that won’t warp and is put together with heavy-gauge wire. Inside, find acid-free, thick pages that will really make images pop: the sheets are black, which provides a striking and classic backdrop to any image.

Semikolon Black Page Photo Albums

Price: $23.10–$33.50

Buy Now

ANOTHER GOOD OPTION
Pioneer Photo Album
This midsize photo album, handsomely covered in good-quality 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. Similar to our top pick, the album can hold 200 photos measuring up to four by six inches and contains transparent sleeves with pockets that can accommodate two horizontal images per page or one image vertically. The price is lower than Kolo albums (nearly half!), so this is a particularly great option if you’re shopping on a budget, but you won’t be getting the workmanship of the latter. Colors aren’t as vibrant, and the materials are not as impressive. Still, being acid, lignin, and PVC free, it’s a good option if you’re looking for something that can safely store a substantial—though not overwhelming—number of photos.

Pioneer Photo Album

Price: $38.94

Buy Now From Amazon

TOP OF THE LINE
Archival Methods Matching 3-Ring Binder and Case Set
While plainer than our other options, these albums are the right choice for storing old, fragile, or one-of-a-kind photos. The covers of both the binder and the slipcase are constructed of archival-quality, glue-free binder’s board, and both are lined with acid- and lignin-free paper. The slipcase fits tightly to keep out dust and dirt. Fill with the company’s archival pages and know that your most precious photos will be safe from all but the most extreme conditions.

Archival Methods Matching 3-Ring Binder and Case Set

Price: $65.55

Buy Now

ALSO CONSIDER
Books by Hand Just the Pieces Album Kits
Make your own customizable photo album with one of these kits from Books by Hand, which come with everything needed to make ribbon bound, post bound or accordion  albums. Each kit comes with precut components and instructions for making a no-frills archival book, which you can personalize with paper, fabric, or art.  Decorate and fill with photographs for a truly thoughtful gift.

Books by Hand Just the Pieces Album Kits

Price: $7.60–$23.60

Buy Now

Brought to you by the oldest and most widely circulated art magazine in the world, ARTnews Recommends helps you make the choice that suits you best from products in hundreds of art and craft supply categories. Our offerings are based on intensive research, interviews with artists and craftspeople, and the accumulated experience of the site’s editors and writers. We provide trustworthy and helpful advice about materials to artists ranging from beginner to professional.

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.

Pioneer Fabric Cover Photo Album

Buy Now

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.

Jot & Mark Photo Album Set

Buy Now

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.

Pioneer Bonded Leather Photo Album

Buy Now

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.

Kolo Noci Photo Album

Buy Now

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.

Artmag Extra Large Photo Album

Buy Now

Best of ARTnews.com

Click here to see more up-to-date holiday deals!

Click here to read the full article.