Do a google search for water damaged photographs:

This one had some helpful suggestions:

I figured with all the flooding these days there had to be some
discussion about it. My mother was into gluing and taping photos.
Between the that and the quality of the paper (acid), it's been a job.
I have some old diaries and autograph books from the 19th century.
They are brittle and yellow. I carefully scanned those for
preservation. I created a DVD slideshow of everything and gave them as

One of my favorite sites for photography is:
Do a search there for "water damage".  I found some there too.

Good Luck.

PS: New Zealand is gorgeous, especially the south island.

> I think at times you may be faced with a hard decision - do I want to 
> get the image or keep the photo?

> Drying old photos can be a problem, as they sometimes curl up strongly
> when dry. (If you allow them to dry emulsion side down on an unheated 
> print dryer, they're liable to stick on the surface).

> When the image is very important, it may be worth running the risk of 
> losing the photo by placing the wet print, emulsion side down, on a 
> sheet of glass and allowing it to dry. You can photograph the flattened
> image (with any cracks minimised) through the glass;  but you may not be
> able to soak the photo off again without damaging it.

> Best of luck! Let us know how you get on.

> Doug
> Emrys Williams wrote:
>> Another thought is to consider copying the photos while they are still
>> under water, before they have any chance to dry out and wrinkle.
>> Personally, I'd photograph each photo through the water surface, as it
>> lay on top of the pile, then remove the top photo. Then if the drying
>> process wrecks them, you've still got a reasonable image. If they dry
>> well, you can always scan them again later. Photographing through the
>> water surface might need some practice, but I have done this very
>> successfully with rock pools. Feel free to email me direct if you'd like
>> some suggestions.
>> More good luck!
>> Emrys
>> Duncan Lithgow wrote:
>>> Hi there all.
>>> On my last night in my home country of New Zealand I've been going
>>> through yet another box of family stuff. My grandfather was proloffic
>>> in creating and keeping documents of all kinds. I've just found
>>> several envelopes of photos so damaged by water that they are stuck
>>> together and I can only see enough to know that they include some very
>>> old family photos of which there are unlikely to be other copies. I'm
>>> feeling terrible about finding them. I know my mother would be
>>> horrified if she knew that they were in one of the boxes she stored
>>> poorly and which became water damaged. So I've put the clumps of paper
>>> into a bag and will take them home with me to Denmark. That's the sob
>>> story...
>>> Now the question is what can I do to make the best of this tragic
>>> situation? I know a bit about restoring the photos once I have them,
>>> but for no they are caked together in a clump. Please does anyone know
>>> what I can do? All I've come up with so far is taking the whole clump
>>> with me on a ong visit to the local sauna! Maybe that would separate
>>> them with some encouragement?!
>>> Help and advice appreciated.
>>> Duncan
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