The best container I found was 16mm or 35mm film tins/cans. They are
round like the tape reels and come in different diameter sizes which can
easily accommodate the largest audio reels. Used ones in good condition
at reasonable prices can be had at Urbanski Film supply:
On 3/1/2015 5:28 PM, Eric Jacobs wrote:
> Hi Tom,
> Thank you for starting this excellent thread.
> I wanted to chime in with two brief points that I think havenıt been
> covered yet:
> 1. When encountering a moldy tape, you need to weigh the cost of mold
> removal against the risk of VS when segregating and storing moldy
> tapes in sealed bags (with or without a desiccant like silica gel).
> As noted by others, VS seems to be a function of storage temperature,
> therefore moldy tapes that are stored and sealed should be stored in
> a ³cold² environment to minimize the risk of VS. If you can afford
> to do it, it is still best to remove the mold.
>> Another distressing datapoint ... This is the second batch of late 1950s
>> Audiotape acetate-backed
>> tape I'm dealing with that has become very brittle, like most of the
>> plasticity has dried out of the
>> backing. I suspect this is made worse by over-dry storage conditions
>> intended to somehow "prevent"
>> or "mitigate" sticky-shed in later tapes (and remember that there is no
>> proof that dry storage does
>> either). I wish some scientists would do some chemistry on acetate tapes
>> and come up with better
>> storage recommendations. There are millions of acetate tapes and films
>> being stored under the same
>> "keep it super-dry and cold" mandates that are imposed on polyester media
> 2. I have had reasonable luck ³de-brittling² acetate tapes by placing
> in a cool humid environment. For example, I use a clear plastic
> container and place a tray of distilled water on the bottom, and then
> suspend the brittle reels above the tray. The container has openings
> I can adjust to roughly control RH - I target a 60-70% RH. I do this
> a room that is in the low-60s F and dark. I monitor and check the
> daily - I worry about activating any potential mold spores. The tapes
> slowly become more pliable over the course of 1-4 weeks (every tape is
> different, some do not respond). Once reasonably pliable, I remove
> tapes and let them acclimate to the RH of the studio for about a week.
> Certainly not a production method because it takes time and
> but it generally helps.
> I do not humidify tapes that have known mold exposure.
> From a chemistry point of view, this doesnıt seem like it should work,
> so Iım not sure what mechanisms are at play.
> The suggestion by John Schroth of using camphor is very interesting,
> and I may try this - although I need to find the right container.
> Would love to hear if anyone else has tried ³humidifying² acetate
> tapes - intentionally or otherwise.
> ~ Eric
> Eric Jacobs
> The Audio Archive, Inc.
> 1325 Howard Ave, #906
> Burlingame, CA 94010
> tel: 408-221-2128
> [log in to unmask]
> Disc and Tape Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting
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