What is a dry mount photo album?

DRY MOUNT photo albums have plain card pages, onto which photos are mounted using an adhesive mounting product such as photo tabs, corners or glue.

Dry-mount albums are a traditional style still popular today because of the flexibility they offer for photo sizes and layout, and the high presentation value of completed albums. These albums tend to be a reasonably economical photo presentation option, especially for larger quantities of photographs, when compared to self-adhesive, magnetic or matted-page photo albums.

Generally, there is no plastic or adhesive component in dry-mount pages. Instead they require the use of mounting products such as photo corners, tabs, tape or paste to hold photos in place on the page.

Dry-mount albums allow for greater artistic control over the presentation of photos and other memorabilia. They are ideal for storing and presenting mixed sized photos, such as digital prints, inkjet or colour laser prints, old photographic collections, enlargements, etc.

Another important consideration is that the paper used in these albums should be acid-free, to prevent deterioration of photographic images caused by the release of acidic compounds released from the paper as it ages.

WHAT IS INTERLEAVING?

Interleaving is a light paper, often a glassine, tracing paper or light parchment, between the pages of a photo album. Interleaving plays an important role in preventing photographs on facing pages from scratching and chafing on each other, and from sticking together in humid conditions. If a dry-mount album does not have interleaving, The Photo Album Shop recommends mounting the photos on one side of the page only.

Dry-mount albums can be either book-bound or post-bound. There are considerations which might make one type of album more suitable for your requirements than another. These terms are explained below.

WHAT IS A BOOK-BOUND DRY MOUNT PHOTO ALBUM?

Book-bound photo albums generally have pages that are stitch-bound or glue-bound into the spine. This means that book-bound albums are not refillable, and you are not able to add, remove or change the order of the pages. The benefit is that you have a complete album with high presentation value.

Book-bound albums typically have a one-piece cover. The spine of the album is covered, which makes for a very neat presentation like a hard-cover book. Book-bound albums tend to be either mass-produced albums (usually with machine-made glued page-blocks) or premium custom-made albums (usually with hand-finished stitched page blocks).

WHAT IS A POST-BOUND DRY MOUNT PHOTO ALBUM?

Post-bound photo albums have pages that are held into the cover by a post-and-screw system concealed within the spine of the album. In most instances, refills can be added to extend the album (with extension posts to make the post-and-screw system longer), or pages can be removed or their order changed.

Adding refills is very convenient to build an album up to fit your quantity of photos; for instance to fit one holiday, one wedding or similar event into one album. Post-bound albums are also idea for ongoing collections, when a chronological sequence might need to be maintained by inserting extra pages throughout the album as new material becomes available, or for an album which may need to be extended in the future.

Post-bound albums may have exposed page-ends at the spine of the album, or they may have a spine cover between the front and back covers which serves to conceal the page-ends. Ideally the spine cover will expand to cover the page-ends even when refills are added to the album.

WHAT IS THE BEST DRY MOUNT PHOTO ALBUM?

There is no one best photo album for everybody. Different features suit different requirements, and we welcome you to contact us to discuss these. But there are a few points worth considering.

Firstly, ensure the photo album has acid-free pages. Interleaving is also important if you want to mount photos on both sides of the pages. These are the basic requirements.

Better-quality dry mount albums will also have hinged or scored pages in post-bound albums, or an allowance built into the binding in book-bound albums, to allow the pages to turn easily and lie flat when the album is open.

Another important feature is to have spacing between the album pages, which will accommodate the extra thickness once photographs have been mounted, thereby  avoiding the risk of flaring of the completed album.