Cleaning old plates buried 70+ yrs

A friend found some old newspaper advertising plates, all from before the 1930’s. They had been buried and the wood is shot. Looks like a former local paper dumped them in a landfill. They were 8 feet down and came to light during a construction project. Any suggestions as to the best way to clean them and to remount them. Some are in printable shape and some don’t look so good. Several metals, but mostly copper.

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try a solvent, i use gasoline, scrubbing with a soft brush like a tooth brush. if you can get the wood off them you don’t need to remount them to make a print, ink them with a hand brayer then slightly dampen the paper, place the paper on the plate with a piece of chipboard over the paper, then with a block of wood (or a printers planer) tap it, you should get a pretty good copy of the plate. good luck dick g.