Hi Richard:
Upon reading your reply, I noticed that I wrote that "old acetate tapes that have turned brown", I actually meant to say that the boxes had turned brown. I guess that  I should of had my morning coffee before posting, sorry.
I would agree that once an acid is emitted from either the box or the reel, that they both begin to "feed" off one another. It would be an interesting study to try and determine which is emitting more acid, the box or the tape.

Lance Watsky
Preservation & Media Specialist
The Georgia Archives
5800 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, GA 30260
678-364-3764 (phone)
678-364-3860 (fax)
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-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 2:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel archival containers

At 09:09 AM 8/11/2004 -0400, Watsky, Lance wrote in part:
My concern with your posting, is when you mentioned that "cardboard boxes would work well". It needs to be added that the "old" cardboard boxes are usually not inert to begin with, and have a very high Ph, they will decompose over time and eventually give off acid on their own. Certainely, we have all seen old acetate tapes that have turned brown, sometimes even leaving an imprint of the plastic reel. Since this is true, then the acid that is emitted from the breakdown of the cardboard boxes will actually help to speed up the deterioration, unless new inert boxes are utilized.

Hi, Lance,

I added the bold italics and would like to suggest that perhaps when you see the imprint of the reel on the box and the box is more deteriorated outside the imprint of the reel that is the time the box is obtaining some of its acid from the tape.

Anyway, that is one possible interpretation and that was what I meant in my original post about the box acting something like a molecular sieve.

Just my, ummm, out-of-the-box thinking <ka-ching>.