Safely Removing Tape From an Old Calendar

Dear Donia,
How do I safely remove tape from an old calendar?

Marilyn Monroe calendar

Q. Dear Donia,

I have a 1955 calendar of Marilyn Monroe with the top edge torn off, which someone tried fixing with duct tape. I have had it stored since because I didn't want to cause any more damage. I would love to frame it but not sure what to do about the top edge now. Thanks, Tracey

A. Dear Tracey,

Tape is the bane of every conservator's existenceduct tape especially! There isn't much that you can do to remove the tape yourself. You can find a conservator near you to remove the tape and repair the top edge if you feel the calendar is worth it. To find a conservator near you, you can use the American Institute for Conservation's Find a Conservator page.

If you don't want the extra expense of conservation, you will want to frame the calendar with museum-quality mat board for both the window as well as the mounting board and to mount with polyester or polyethylene photo corners so you do not add any new material to the calendar. You then will want to use UV blocking glass or Plexiglas (Lexan is one brand that is UV resistant) as the glazing. Finally, the calendar will want to be hung away from direct sunlight and away from any heating vents that would warm the framing package up. Both of these steps will help slow the deterioration of the duct tape as much as possible.

Hope this helps!