A paper print is usually, but certainly not always, made up of several
components. At first glance there appears to be two parts: the paper photograph which is
glued onto a stiff cardboard support or mount. For most of us, that is all we
need to know. However when conserving photos, we need to know that the "paper
photograph" generally has three components:
1. the image material, a very thin layer on the surface of the photo
2. a binder or adhesive that attaches the image material to the
3. support, usually paper stock.
There is an adhesive layer that attaches the photograph to the
mount. The mount is cardboard and is usually made up of three or more layers:
1. a high quality paper top layer, which is attached by
2. adhesive to
3. low quality paper backing.
There frequently is a fourth layer of high quality paper so that the back looks good.