How to store 40,000 35mm color slides and keep them safe and clean? We recommend Logan slide file boxes the most practical


Slide storage

If you have gazillions of slides, you need some manner to store them. Here are some suggestions from a photographer who has to figure out how to store 40,000 slides of pre-Columbian Maya art.


Many museums use those large racks, but this means that each individual slide is exposed to dust on both sides (even if protected in plastic). Also, many of the flexible plastic holders grab onto the slide with heat and humidity, and then could potentially pull off the emulsion.


We have found the Logan slide file, the metal boxes, to be the best. Since the F.L.A.A.R. Photo Archive is only temporarily in Florida, the metal boxes provide security for our eventual move to a more permanent home in the future.


Slide storage

In the next century slides will be museum pieces in their own right, as all images will be digital (or some other electronic form not yet invented). But for the next few years all of us are stuck with 35mm slides, and Logan boxes are one safe and handy way to store thousands of slides.


One of my boxes even got run over by a truck. Most of the slides survived, and we used a hammer to straighten out the box. This box is now at least 20 years old and is still in the archive.


If you have larger format slides, 6x6 cm, we have suggestions for that size.

The picture here shows part of the 40,000 color slides of the F.L.A.A.R. Photo Archive of pre-Columbian Maya art, archaeology, and architectural history. This archive covers the various civilizations of pre-Hispanic Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.


Slide storage

Logan metal storage boxes can be purchased (or special ordered) at any large photography store in any urban center. We recommend the group-file system, not the individual slide-by-slide drop in system.


If you want more sophisticated slide storage (if you are a museum or commercial archive) you will want to look at what is available from Light Impressions. They offer all kinds of slide storage systems that will hold thousands of slides.


For other slide storage systems consider NegaFile,

For plastic sleeves, an option is Print File from Get Smart Products,



New page format posted November 17, 2009
updated May 16, 1998, edited Feb. 27, 1999 by Nicholas Hellmuth