To mail just a few photos, be sure to use a large enough envelope to accommodate 2 sturdy pieces of cardboard (preferably the heavy, corrugated kind) or foam board. Place your photos between the sheets of board. If there’s some room in the envelope for the cardboard sheets to move from side to side, add rubber bands or tape on the edges of the boards to keep the photos and cardboard together.
To mail just a few slides or negatives, use the same method as described above for mailing just a few photos but also place your slides or negatives in sleeves or envelopes before placing them between the board inserts.
To mail a quantity of photos for archiving, a box is recommended. The Post Office has a good variety of box sizes available to you at no cost. We recommend bundling your photos together in a plastic bag or envelope inside the box.
To mail a quantity of slides, a box or heavy-duty padded envelope is recommended.
To mail a quantity of negatives, a box or envelope with cardboard inserts is recommended.
For any mail, make sure you seal the envelope or box well; add extra tape if necessary. Mark your envelope “PHOTOS: DO NOT BEND” on the front and back. Address it clearly, and be sure to include your return address. Take it to the Post Office counter if possible (this will sometimes insure that it is handled more carefully). Send it Priority Mail so that there will be a tracking number; this will be on your receipt. Keep your receipt with the tracking number, and also e-mail or text the tracking number to us so that we can try to help track it in the event it doesn’t arrive in a timely manner. Insurance is also available from the Post Office; use your own judgment about this. Money won’t really replace your only copy of an old family photo but may be useful if you’ve just mailed a copy of a disc or digital media.