Is there a way to safely separate two sheets of paper glued together?
July 23, 2012 11:25 AM Subscribe
A printout was inadvertently glued to a copy of a historical photo. How do I get it off?
posted by johnofjack to media & arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
At work we've just discovered a stack of photos, on paper of unknown type, mounted to wood. Someone had the idea of separating each of these with old printouts. One of the printouts in the middle of the stack had glue on it, and is now stuck to the photo.
I don't know what kind of glue it is.
I also don't know what kind of paper the copy was made on, but it can apparently take and keep a visible fingerprint, as someone left one on it. The copy is probably decades old and the photo is on some sort of paper--apparently something had been stuck to it before, and resolved it by simply tearing the paper off, tearing the top layer off the photo in the process. And then made that same mistake again. Yes, yes, I know. It wasn't me, honest.
The original photos are no longer available, so this copy is all we have.
Is there a way to get this printout off the photo without destroying the photo?
I've looked into it a bit online and am not optimistic; most people seem to recommend steam, in hopes of loosening the glue. That doesn't strike me as the least risky option, since the photo is also on paper. Is dry heat a viable option? Wouldn't that just make the glue set further?
Photo of the situation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjack/7631302894/
Photo of the masses of glue visible through the printout: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjack/7631302698/
Photo of the damage done before: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjack/7631302492/
Photo of the corner, which has started to peel away and shows the layers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjack/7631480440/in/photostream