Dear forum readers,
I am currently helping relatives of mine to archive the negatives of an old photographer whose work extends from the late 1940's practically until the present. Since he is too old to do the practical work, his son and I have taken over the task of archiving and making contact prints of those of his negatives that have not been archived yet. Since scanning all negatives would be too time-consuming (and we don't have the money to pay someone to do it), we will move the negatives (with few exceptions 35 mm) from their original envelopes to transparent archival sleeves (which has to be done anyway) and then make contact sheets of them. The contact sheets will be scanned for an overview, but any future enlargements will obviously be made from the original negatives.
The problem that we have is that some of the older negatives, packed in envelopes with all stripes of a film on top of each other, are sticking together. I have so far discovered two films, undated but from between 1945 and 1955, where the stripes are firmly stuck with each other. The pictures on the film are potentially very valuable. So here comes the question: What would be the safest way to separate the stripes from each other, given the age and possibly fragile condition of the negatives?
Greetings and many thanks for your help,