Preserving WW1 documents

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by davew877, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. davew877

    davew877 Member

    Guys, I have my Grandfather's WW1 paybook but some of the pages are stuck together, any idea how to sort this, remembering its over a 100 yrs old. Thanks in anticipation. Dave
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi Dave,

    Forum member AB64 - Alistair - has an interest in pay books.

    I’ve sent him a message to alert him to your post. He may be able to help.

    davew877 likes this.
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    I can't remember who it was but a member of the Forum went on a book renovation and binding course a couple of years ago. A search might identify who it was?
    davew877 likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Nice to know I made such an impression! And it was only in July.

    The one disappointment on the course was that I was concentrating on binding to the point that I didn't have enough time to try out paper repairs. I'm hoping to go again in the new year but that's not much help in the present.

    Is it odd pages or a section stuck together, and are they completely or partially stuck?
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  5. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    If they're only partially stuck, the first tip on this page may help. I wouldn't worry too much about finding acid free paper as it's not going to be in contact with the book for long. The trick might be to find a paper that's rigid enough but not so stiff it starts to act like a knife. If you start to worry - stop.

    Separating Sticky Document and Photo Pages: Genealogists' and Archivists' Tips

    There is also a process called rehumidification to introduce a smidgin of moisture back into the book which might help to release the pages. At its simplest, it's sealing the book in a container that contains some water. Bear in mind this could affect some inks.

    Be warned I haven't any practical experience of either of these techniques. It might be worth trying to find an old pamphlet or book with a similar type of paper, then try to stick its pages together by dampening it and letting it dry under a bit of pressure. Then you can practice separating them without risking the paybook.

    Good luck!
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  6. davew877

    davew877 Member

    Many thanks to you all for taking the time to reply, I will try the suggestions and update later. I am also going to get in touch with the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Asking at university libraries or archives/record offices might be worthwhile as preserving documentation is particularly relevant to them.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Would being held near the steam from a kettle help unstick them?? - used to work unsticking enevelopes :ninja:

  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    In the paybooks and other paperwork I have I've only rarely had bits stuck together - I usually try separate with a sharp knife slowly edging it forward to see if it separates, sometimes it works OK, other times it seems to start badly so I've left it. I'd also be interested in learning the right way for future reference.

    I had a look on the Wehrmacht Awards forum as they have a conservation/restoration section but nothing jumped out.

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