Author Topic: Advice Required - Photographs stuck together  (Read 255 times)

Offline Alchameth

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Advice Required - Photographs stuck together
« on: Friday 18 December 20 11:26 GMT (UK) »
Hello
I am looking for some advice and help, and hopefully I am in the right place.  My wife is part of a very large family, being the youngest of 11 girls.  We have just helped my aging mother in law move to more modern accommodation and have agreed to keep hold of the family photographs for the time being.  The photographs go back many years, are all physical copies and for which no digital versions exist.  Unfortunately they have been kept in a damp corner of an old cottage and the majority are stuck together.  My plan is to find a way to separate them, and then scan them.  I am pretty handy with the IT side of things so once they are digital I will enjoy learning how to restore them, it is the physical separation that is my first issue and one I need help with.  Does anyone have any advice as to how to separate these photographs?  There are a lot of them, a suitcase full!  Not all of them are damaged though.

I have seen tutorials of people bathing them in water and carefully separating them.  Is this the best way.  Does this method work with all photographs, even very old photos?

Many thanks for any advice you can give!


Offline Treetotal

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Re: Advice Required - Photographs stuck together
« Reply #1 on: Friday 18 December 20 13:22 GMT (UK) »
Hi and welcome to Rootschat. Your problem is a common one and not very easily solved. Very old photos are often made up of several compressed layers which can separate.  If it were me I would seek the advice of a professional photographer to minimize the risk of ruining historical photos. DIY advice on the internet can be misleading and harmful. The emulsion on the photographs may transfer from one photo to the other if they are stuck surface to surface. These are precious and need treating with the utmost respect to minimise the damage during separation.
Good Luck.
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Offline Gadget

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Re: Advice Required - Photographs stuck together
« Reply #2 on: Friday 18 December 20 20:58 GMT (UK) »
Welcome from me too  :)

I've been searching through some old posts to see if PrueM (a photo conservator who used to be on the forum) had mentioned a solution to your problem. I was sure she had but can't find anything at the moment.

It might be best to talk to a professional photographer/conservator but also you might look at some of these links:

https://www.diyphotography.net/save-old-photos-stuck-together/

https://www.universityproducts.com/separating-photographs

https://www.fujifilm.com/support/photo_cleaning/silver_halide/case_2.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL_PCmY6W0M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKd1BBrSTDc


It would very much depend on the type of photos in the bundle. 

I can't guarantee that these methods would work.  I did have a bundle of wet photos when part of a house flooded many years ago but I had the negs so was able to reprint them.


Gadget
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Offline Gadget

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Re: Advice Required - Photographs stuck together
« Reply #3 on: Friday 18 December 20 23:22 GMT (UK) »
Just to add that I used to do quite a lot of developing and printing as I studied  and taught photography at one stage. I have re-wetted many photographs (not as part of a bundle) without any harm but it really depends on the paper used. Without seeing them, I couldn't really assess what you could do safely.

Before digital, photography was very much a wet process. 
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Offline purlin

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Re: Advice Required - Photographs stuck together
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 19 December 20 17:08 GMT (UK) »
Local/County museums who are experienced in such work are generally more than willing to offer sound advice.
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