Microspatula. (Courtesy of Margery Sly, Temple University)n. a metal tool used primarily for lifting or separating delicate materials from each other or from fastenersBoles 1984, 101Let us breathe softly the heresy that a thorough understanding of the chemistry and a deft touch with a microspatula are not really at the heart of what an archivist knows and does.Smith et al. 1984, 107One effective method of separating the carrier from the adhesive mechanically is to place the paper on a hard, flat surface, grasp a microspatula so the blade is parallel to the place of the tape, and gently work the edge of the blade under the carrier. One must proceed slowly, as aggressive movement will result in skinning of the paper. Sometimes the carrier will lift more easily if forward motion of the spatula is combined with a very slight waggling of the blade.Hackbart-Dean, Agne, and Mosbo 2010, 51During the previous move before the renovation, the mover‘s [sic] adhered tags to actual items, including oversize leather bound books. Now, tags and adhesive were removed using microspatulas and special erasers. No long term [sic] damage had been done.Ritzenthaler 2010, 419If the paper is weak or brittle, you can use a microspatula to remove staples or similar metal fasteners carefully. . . . As a precaution when removing staples, slip a small strip of polyester film under the shanks of the staple to prevent the microspatula from cutting into the paper, should the tool accidentally slip. With the document fully supported on a table, use a microspatula—again working from the back—to carefully lift the shanks of the staple, one at a time (see Figure D-1-5). Then turn over the paper and slip the microspatula carefully under the staple to lift it out.Ritzenthaler 2010, 455To slit a document that is hinged to a mat away from the backing, insert a microspatula or scalpel between the hinge and the mat, taking care to avoid the document.NARA 2016eMicrospatula (stainless steel) ¶ Thin and flexible spatulas that can be used to remove staples and similar fasteners.NARA 2016fA microspatula should be used to remove fasteners from documents that are weak, thin, or brittle. Working from the back, a microspatula can be used to carefully lift the shanks of staples or similar metal fasteners, as well as paper clips. (See Figure 5.) As a precaution, it is advisable, when possible, to slip a small piece of polyester film under the staple before removing it, to prevent the microspatula from slipping and cutting into the paper. Encrusted rust, which could impede removal of a fastener, should be removed mechanically if possible, carefully using a microspatula to gently chip away at the rust to break the line of contact with the paper. Hardened and encrusted rubber bands also can be removed in this fashion.NEDCC 2020b, 1Conservators recommend microspatulas, which are available from sellers of conservation or scientific supplies. ¶ With fragile papers or papers to which the clip has rusted: gently insert a small piece of clear polyester film (Melinex) between the clip and the paper on both sides; position the papers, and pry open as above. If the paper clip is severely rusted, first loosen it from the paper by scraping through the rust layer very gently with the tip of a microspatula before inserting the polyester and gently prying the clip open.