Photograph stuck to glass

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    • #132714
      Renee Henry

      We have a color photograph from the 1980s that is stuck to the glass of the frame.  We would like to store it without the frame. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to safely separate the photo from the frame?  Thank you for your thoughts.

    • #132717

      Hi Renee,

      This is a good question and a common problem.

      We just discussed this yesterday in our Caring for Photographs Online Course. You can find a transcript of the webinar here: and we will be posting the recordings of the webinars in a few weeks.

      Unfortunately, if you try this yourself, the risk of damaging the photograph is high. We recommend that you contact a conservator.  You can locate a conservator with a specialty in photographs by clicking on “Find a Conservator” on the American Institute for Conservation website ( While storing the photograph in the frame may not be ideal, it may be your best short-term solution. Can you remove any acidic materials that may be behind the photo and replace it with archivally safe material? Is it possible to scan or photograph the item so that you can use a copy while you store the original?

    • #132716

      The binder is gelatine. As humidity grows, the risk of gettin the image side of a photo attached to the surface in touch rises.

      With not-so-old photos the treatment is to rise the humidity in order to soften the binder again, with the hope it will come off without harm.

      It may be do by a conservator with experience in this things, because even when it goes OK, we’re submitting the picture to a lot of stress. And is always a risky measure.



    • #132715
      Renee Henry

      Thank you for your comments. I think we will leave it in the frame for now and take a good photo of it. (It is not valuable enough to send to a conservator). I appreciate the reference to the discussion.


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