How do I remove photographs stuck to album pages?

The safest do-it-yourself way to remove photographs is to cut out around each photograph while it's still attached to the album page (but possible only if there are no photographs on the other side of the page). If the adhesive holding the photographs is completely dried out, try sliding a thin card behind the photo to help release it from the page. If you cannot release the photographs without causing damage (e.g., creases, dents, tears, curling, etc.) or the album itself is also worth preserving, consult a photograph conservator.

Once out of the album, store photographs properly ("Care of Photographs," Northeast Document Conservation Center).

Read more about albums, stuck photographs, captioning photographs, digitizing photographs, and more from the U.S. National Archives.


Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
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