The Starke County Historical Society was featured on Channel 34 Open Studio program a few years ago. Marvin Allen was a guest and demonstrated the importance of preserving old photographs and digitizing the photos on CD's to be stored for the future. One graphic illustration showed the effect of light and air on photographs. He displayed two identical photographs of his g-g-grandfather. One photo had been stored for over 100 years. The other one was displayed on the wall for the same period of time. The displayed one (left in the attachment) was faded with age while the stored photo was sharp and clear.
The lesson here is to perhaps make copies of your important photos and display the copies while storing the original photo in an acid free envelope. Identify the subject in the photo by writing the name on the back of the photo with a soft lead pencil.
There are several websites that can help you in preservation of your family heirlooms. A good website is http://www.loc.gov/preservation/care/ . It shows preservation methods for different kinds of paper products, even comic books.
Starke County Historical Society