"Richard L. Hess" wrote:

> An update on Vinegar Syndrome in audio tapes. More anecdotal evidence
> that helps support the well-known rule of storing film in vented cans.

As opposed to tightly sealed cans..last week I received 4 reels which had been
stored in film cans for probably over 50 years. I've opened only one, and
identified it as Scotch 111 recorded in 1951..and it smells distinctly
vinegary. However, the pack is tight and the tape plays audible
deterioration, no cupping or stretching.


> I received four reels of Kodak sound recording tape that were
> recorded in 1962 and 1963. All are Triacetate backing. Two are 1.0
> mil on 5-inch reels and two are 1.5 mil on 7-inch reels.
> All of the reels were very loosely wound. The two 7-inch reels were
> in plastic bags inside their boxes. One of them reeked of vinegar
> when I opened it and when I rewound it. I had to move away from the
> prep machine during initial rewind.
> It did not seem to suffer from any of the loss-of-lubricant we've
> started to see in Sony reel-to-reel tapes and 3M dictation cassettes
> (among others).
> The outside of the tape pack could be easily depressed 1/4 to 3/8 of
> an inch, the pack was so loose. I wonder if that much material was
> lost? The tape still played fine and appeared dimensionally stable,
> but this is as far gone as any I have seen judging from the odor.
> I have never seen this before with tapes stored in the more usual
> cardboard boxes without being sealed in a bag. Doug Nishimura of IPI
> has more examples than I, but I am concerned that we're going to
> start to see significant degradation of acetate-based tapes. The risk
> of this tape is growing, IMHO.
> I'm glad these are getting transferred. They are interviews with
> people who were at one of the Shaker communities in the early 1900s.
> Apologies for the cross posting. I'm not looking to get into a major
> discussion about this -- just a heads up for those who are keeping
> track of at-risk media. Probably if we do discuss it, it should be on
> AMIA-L as that is where most of the knowledgeable VS people reside
> (due to the issue surfacing in film archives a bit more than in tape
> archives). If you are interested in the list go to
> Regards,
> Richard
> Richard L. Hess                           email: [log in to unmask]
> Vignettes
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