You have received three great answers, with which I concur.
The one exception that was noted was using the plastic bag where there
is a risk of flood. A few years ago, I was given a tape that had been
stored in a plastic bag in a "time capsule." The tape was moist.
Water/vapor will diffuse through many plastics given enough time. It
seems to me that the small risk of flood and the limited protection the
plastic bag offers is not a good trade-off against the detriments of its
I do return the plastic bag to clients, but the tape is on top of it,
not in it.
Interestingly, while one might worry about the acidic content of a
run-of-the-mill tape box, I have anecdotal evidence that the "bad actor"
in this equation (at least with acetate tape) is the tape and not the box.
More than a decade ago (yikes!, has it been that long?), I posted this
to my blog:
On 2017-12-13 12:06 AM, Mark Campbell wrote:
> I have a question regarding dew point and open reel tape playback and subsequent vault storage.
> It is a given that playback of tapes will occur in temperature and humidity conditions that are far from ideal for tape storage...(ideal being something approaching 16 deg C and 30% RH and a good studio for playback is set to be comfortable for humans not tapes ---22 deg C and 60% RH)
> The problem thus arise:
> If after playback of a 10" master tape...I dutifully place in back in its plastic bag and then into its cardboard tape box ...in doing so...I have capture a bubble of air which surrounds the tape inside the bag which is at 'studio conditions" (60%RH)
> That tape (well bagged and boxed) goes to an hypothetical cold store at (8 degrees 30% RH)
> My question is...will the plastic bag hold that 'studio-air' around the tape...and cause dew formation?
> And if so...
> Would it be best not to use the plastic bag at all...and allow the tape to 'breath' in its cardboard tape box?
> I hope to hear from you soon.
> Mark Campbell
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.