Hamlet’s soliloquy To Jeep or Not to Jeep is highly controversial, and as current Chair of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) task group responsible for photo safety, I am qualified to address some of the more controversial aspects of this soliloquy.
Specifically, while the original intent of the jeeping may not have been to improve photo safety, it does have that effect, since the relatively thick reinforcement tape used for jeeping transfers pressure from the photo to the edge of the album page, reducing photo abrasion and the possible harmful effects of high humidity.
There may be other harmful physical characteristics of the enclosure material that may develop under adverse environmental conditions, e.g. elevated relative humidity. These include wrinkling and distortions common to glassine paper, or ferrotyping, of the image surface, i.e. local or overall glazing that can result from contact under pressure with smooth, glossy, plastic enclosure material. ISO18902:2007
The worst scenario is a stack of albums. In this situation, the album on the bottom will experience pressure due to all albums that are above it; however, even photos in albums stored on a bookshelf will experience some pressure. Embellishments, photo mounting paper, and other decorations in an album will also increase pressure on the photos.
Clearly, some albums have survived long periods of time in relatively good shape without jeeping, and I am glad they have survived. However, these albums do not negate the importance of following additional recommendations for photo safety that may become available, since we never know what conditions the future may bring.