My twopennyworth. It is extremely *useful* to keep tapes in their original
boxes, quite apart from the fact that original boxes may carry the only
documentation there is. After a little practical experience, one can spot
the likelihood of (say) acetate-based tape, and prioritise it for
preservation copying. I also have a number of anecdotal processes which may
not be relevant outside Britain, which allow one to go quickly to tapes
which have been amateurishly spliced, tapes which were bought "off the back
of a lorry" and therefore need investigation, and tapes which probably
aren't audio tapes at all (usually video or early computer tapes).
Peter Copeland
former Conservation Manager, British Library Sound Archive

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard L. Hess [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 09 June 2004 21:18
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] storage media

Hello, Donna,

My preliminary investigations indicate that cardboard boxes are serving us
and should not be changed. If they are highly acidic, they should be

If you have acetate tapes, I believe the cardboard allows enough breathing
also acts as a buffer (like a molecular sieve in a film can) that absorbs
outgassing acetic acid.

I haven't fully proven this, but it is a logical hypothesis.

So, unless the boxes are really yellow and brittle, I wouldn't change them.

You might finr some useful information on my "tips" page at

If you have any questions as you undertake your digitizing project, feel
free to
ask me.



Richard L. Hess

Quoting Donna Sinclair <[log in to unmask]>:

> Speaking of storage media, can anyone tell me whether reel-to-reel should
> put in special storage cases?  Most of our tapes are currently in the
> the tape comes in.  We are planning a digitizing project and I am trying
> calculate cost.  Any assistance would be helpful.
> Donna Sinclair
> Special Collections Coordinator, Oral History
> Oregon Historical Society Research Library


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