The thing I've noticed about paper leader is that it's most likely candidate for a bad splice point.
Why? Do not know but I theorize the paper absorbs and dissipates whatever makes the glue stick to
it. On the other hand, paper is proven to not mess up the tape around it over time. I think if
you're relying on ANY old tape where it's a huge issue what leader medium is used, you need to come
up with a plan, today, to transfer that material to digital media and/or create safety copies on
newer tape. The simple fact is that tape is not forever.
-- Tom Fine
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Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 3:56 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] CLIR document/ Leader
> I wonder about the value of the recommendation to “replace plastic leaders
> with paper leaders” (Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation;
> 188.8.131.52.3 Leader).
> I think that the concern about “electrostatic charges” may be overstated
> (and probably has its origins from another era, perhaps when PVC was used a
> leader tape base). Using modern anti-static polyester leader as a
> “replacement leader” (not to mention the high coercivity of magnetic tape
> in general), makes the electrostatic charges from leader tape issue, I
> feel, almost negligible. Video shares many of the same preservation issues
> as audio and I’m not aware of this “paper or plastic” question ever coming
> up in that field; video preservation specialists use polyester leader and
> have done so successfully for decades. Is there a distinction between
> magnetic audio media and magnetic video media (or even data storage tape,
> another magnetic medium that uses polyester leader) that I’m overlooking
> that would require paper tape to be used in audio?
> Certainly too other arguments could be made for not using paper leader: it
> is less durable than polyester, it will absorb moisture, and -particularly
> with non-buffered paper, it becomes brittle and therefore may fail to
> maintain the tension on the tape pack (when tacked down at the head or
> tail) needed for long term storage.
> Feel free to set me straight.
> Daniel Sbardella
> The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
> 40 Lincoln Center Plaza
> New York, NY 10023