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ARSCLIST  October 2003

ARSCLIST October 2003

Subject:

Re: environment controls

From:

Gary Higgins <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 27 Oct 2003 09:59:54 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (123 lines)

I am the archivist for over 12,000 reels and they are stored in an ideal
temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. When we first started the
project in 1984, all of the reels were taken off of 7" reels, leadered, and
slow-packed onto 10" plastic reels. They were then put into plastic bags and
into reel boxes. This project took approximately 9 months and the only time
these reels have been opened and rewound is when the actual transfer to
digital was made, and that process has slowly been going on over the last 19
years. We have not found any physical problems with the reels.

Gary Higgins


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 5:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] environment controls

We have heard some people indicate that it is a good thing to rewind while
others have stated that they have played old tapes that have not been
regularly rewound with no problems.  There is no one answer for every tape
as everyone is aware.  However, as stated by Hannah Frost in an earlier
post, resources are limited and therefore is this a practice that should go
to the top of a resource limited to do list that many institutions are
faced with?  Quick summary:

Advantages of rewinding:

-prevention of interlayer sticking
-debris trapped between layers of tape becoming bonded
-reducing print-through in audio tapes
-retensioning tape pack so that it has the ideal tension

Disadvantages of regular rewinding:

-time consuming and manpower drain on an institution
-if performed on poor quality or dirty equipment it will do more harm than
good (introduce dirt into tape and tape pack will not be ideal after
rewind)
-overhandling of tape

I believe that if tapes are properly prepared (cleaned and wound to the
correct tension) before going into storage and then stored properly (cool
and dry - ideal about 25% RH and less than 20 degrees Celsius and in a
proper storage container than keeps out dust and debris) then rewinding is
not necessary.   The tapes are clean (which will take care of bonded
debris) and cool and dry storage will deal with the interlayer sticking
because binder degradation is slowed considerably.  If you are concerned
about print-through then this is another issue and perhaps a different
strategy should be adopted.  If the storage conditions are poor (high RH
and greater than 25 degrees Celsius with wide fluctuations) then rewinding
should be considered.  Final comment, are any institutions actually
rewinding tapes on a regular basis?  I would like to hear from people who
know of institutions doing this.  I doubt anyone is doing it every three
months.

Joe Iraci
Canadian Conservation Institute




                      Jerome Hartke
                      <jhartke@MSCIENCE        To:
[log in to unmask]
                      .COM>                    cc:
                      Sent by:                 Subject:  Re: [ARSCLIST]
environment controls
                      Association for
                      Recorded Sound
                      Discussion List
                      <[log in to unmask]
                      >


                      24/10/2003 05:13
                      PM
                      Please respond to
                      jhartke






Do as you wish. Interlayer sticking is well documented, and can actually
rip out pieces of the magnetic coating if tapes have been stored for a
long time. In addition, any debris trapped between layers can become
bonded over time.

Layers of a pancake are under significant pressure. Some tapes have
severe problems while others do not. You are fortunate if you use high
quality tape, or have never experienced problems. Others who had better
things to do with their time have been confronted with unrecoverable
disasters.

Jerry
Media Sciences, Inc.

Hannah Frost wrote:
>
> At 08:21 AM 10/24/2003 -0400, Joe Iraci wrote:
> >Retensioning on a regular basis in many cases will have no value
> >and in fact may damage tape if the rewinding is performed on cheap
> >rewinders or equipment that is dirty or not properly aligned.
>
> Not to mention that the process of retensioning a tape archive takes a
> great deal of precious staff time. When you factor in the risk involved
in
> unnecessary handling, it becomes clear that there are more productive
> things that can be accomplished to care for the collection in the time it
> takes to retension: surveying for materials at risk, grant writing,
> reformatting, and so forth.
>
> Hannah Frost
> Media Preservation Librarian
> Stanford University Libraries
>
> > if storage conditions are good and there has not been wide
> > fluctuations in storage conditions, then I don't think it is
> > necessary to retention tapes every three months.

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