We come across many different kind of problems associated with old black and white photographs. Fading, yellowing, redox blemishing, silver mirroring etc are some common problems with old photographs. These problems are generally due to the inherent causes or reasons present within the Photograph either because of the technique or material involved in making of the photograph. There are many additional problems that arise due to wrong way of storage or display, and even because or improper handling.
The improper storage includes wrong kind of albums, and the deterioration can be induced by improper handling like holding the album or its pages with wet or unclean hands. We have come across an album where interleaving glassine has badly stuck to the original photographs. Some of it could be removed without any damage to the picture, but some areas are irretrievable.
It largely depends on the identification of the print type also that how easy or difficult it would be to remove the glassine stuck on its face.
In case of the album that we are treating, at some places interleaving glassine is deeply embedded in the image material. Being brittle and acidic, it is broken into very small particles deeply embedded and mixed with image material.
All that can be said while we are trying our best to study the possibilities and separate the picture, is that, ‘prevention is better’…