A question: we have a collection that contains a large number of ¼" audio reels, mostly 5", 6", and 7". We're at the beginning of what we expect to be a long cleaning project prior to transfer. There's all matter of scrunge on the boxes, which we'd prefer to keep for their inherent value to the collection and which are cleaning up pretty well with conservation sponges. We also have to clean some of the tape, which we're doing in a vent hood using pellon. Because we want to keep the boxes and I can only find NAB reels in 7" (5" slotted are available too, but I haven't pulled the trigger on those yet), we have a load of 5" and 6" reels that, to put on new 7" reels, would mean we'd have to ditch the original boxes. Now, I can handle this - we can always photocopy the box and where there is information on the reel copy that as well - and I know slotless is the preferred route, but wanted to see if anyone had ever done this kind of project and cleaned up the reels instead of ditching, and if so, how they did it.
More work than it's worth, old plastic = evil, a bad idea generally, or...? Any considered opinions welcome.
I'm asking you because someone's going to ask me before this project goes much further.
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Smith Warehouse, 114 South Buchanan Blvd
Bay 11, Box 90767, Durham, NC 27708