Wednesday, January 16, 2008

PHOTO & DOCUMENT REMOVAL TIPS

Tips for dealing with fragile, stuck-together photos and documents from RootsWeb Review:

RE: Separating Pages in Old Documents
by Jennie Vertrees
Princeton, Missouri

I just wanted to share with you how to separate pages in fragile documents that are stuck together. A few years ago, I was granted permission by the state archives department in Jefferson City, Missouri, to hand copy some of the pages from the original 1880 census for Mercer County, Missouri.

I ran into some pages that were so tightly stuck together that I couldn't get them apart short of tearing them, which I didn't want to. So I asked the person in charge of these old documents if she knew how to get them apart without damaging them. She took a sheet of acid-free paper and "see-sawed" it gently between the two sheets of the document; they came apart without much effort. She stated that the sheet of paper had to be acid-free or it wouldn't work. I've tried it since then and it has worked every time for me.
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RE: A Sticky Photo Problem
by Carol Simmons
Minden, Ontario

I work at a local museum. We have been faced with the problem of having photos stuck to album pages many times. People often donate photo albums, and since we are charged with their safe-keeping, we attempt to remove and conserve the photos.

We have found waxed dental floss to be a blessing. We slide a piece of floss back and forth--much like using a cross-cut saw--between the photo and the backing material. It works great; the photo doesn't get bent or creased. As a side note, make sure to remove all photos from the albums that have sticky pages and a clear film over-sleeve. These are horrendous for photos.
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RE: A Sticky Photo Problem
by Richard A. Danca
Newton, Massachusetts

Here's an idea for removing pictures stuck to pages in those so-called "magnetic" photo albums, where the supposedly tacky substance meant to hold photos on the page can set over time.

You can safely remove those photos by carefully using a hand-held hair dryer set to "Low" or "Warm." Heat one edge of the photo and pry it away slowly as you continue to direct the warm air back and forth under the photo. A bit of the goo sometimes sticks to the photo, but probably not enough to worry about.

After removing the photo, put it in a proper, acid-free photo album.
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Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 9 January 2008, Vol. 11, No. 2.
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