How do I safely remove antique glue adhesive from a newspaper clipping in a scrapbook?
Q. Dear Donia,
A. Dear Ray,
Removing 100-year-old glue could be very easy or very difficult. However, you can try if you are very careful. Using a small watercolor brush (size 0 or 00), apply a little water (don't saturate it) and let it sit a bit. Once it has sat for about a minute, test the damp spot with a microspatula or a pallet knife and see if the glue will release. If it does continue working very slowly to release the newsprint from the adhesive. If you don't go slowly, you may delaminate the newsprint and lose the text of the article you really want.
If the glue doesn't soften in water, stop. It may be an early synthetic adhesive or one that requires a more nuanced approach that requires practice and training.
Good luck, and be careful.