Salvaging Photos Trapped in 1970s Albums of “Glued” Sheets with Mylar Plastic Covering

Hi Everyone!

I was reading the May 2011 newsletter created by the Chicago Genealogical Society and noticed an article that was created by the society President, Tom Mackowiak.  The topic of his article was about his involvement in working with photos he and his brother received after the death of their mother.

He described a situation very similar to one that we all have faced or will face in the future about photo albums – the dreaded albums sheets that adhere to the underlying photos.  The problem is how to safely remove these photos from the grips of the pages in order to secure them in a more archival safe storage material.

Tom included a link in the article to a source he used to follow giving some insights on how to remove photos that are contained in these old, destructive albums.

Please take a look at the following link to use in your own efforts in trying to salvage old photos you may have inherited that are trapped in these destructive albums:

Salvaging Photos Trapped in 1970s Glued Sheets With Mylar Plastic Covering

Hopefully, the article will help you to safely remove any photos you may have in your own collections that need to be preserved.

I have had pictures trapped in such material and I was able to safely remove about 95% of what I had that were in these terrible sticky,plastic sheets.  They came out relatively unscathed. 

One lesson to learn, consider scanning the photo trapped below the plastic sheet BEFORE YOU BEGIN TRYING TO REMOVE IT AND POSSIBLY INCUR DAMAGING IT DURING THE PROCESS!!

If it is destroyed during removal, at least you will have a scanned image of the photo in the best shape that it can be in.

Expect that you will lose some photos in the “salvation” process.  They will be stuck and will tear or rip in small pieces no matter how careful you are.

Thank goodness that we are more understanding today of using archival material to save our photos.  But even digital photos taken today may not wind up being printed but rather simply stored on the memory chip where they are captured.  That presents an entirely different issue of preservation into the future!!

Take a look at the above link before you begin to do any work on trying to remove photos from these old, plastic-sheet oriented albums of days past.

Better to be safe than sorry!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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