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Lisa, We had a policy of making CD access copies for patrons using the 
LPs here in Special Collections. We changed this policy a couple of 
years ago and now patrons handle and play LPs for themselves. All 
library (and archival) materials suffer minor wear or damage during use, 
but you need to weigh the pros and cons of convenient access and staff 
time against the rarity and fragility of materials. LPs are not unique, 
they are durable, they will suffer minimal wear with properly maintained 
equipment, few are truly rare as far as the musical content is 
concerned, and there is a large market of inexpensive LPs out there if 
something is damaged. We found that it just took too much staff time to 
make access copies, so we quit making them. We now have a turntable in a 
listening room with headphones.

The staff time that was formerly spent making access copies is now spent 
making preservation and access copies of things that are rare and need 
to be preserved such as open reel tape, cassettes and lacquer discs. 
There is no right or wrong policy here, but you should examine your 
priorities and goals as a whole. Doing right by one part of the 
collection can often mean neglecting an even bigger problem elsewhere.

David Seubert
UCSB

>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Lisa Colaianne" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 10:16 AM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Vinyl use and access policies
>
>
> Please excuse the newbie posting -- I hope I don't come off as too
> uninformed. I'm a grad student at the University of Maryland working on a
> field study at the Maryland Historical Society. I'm working with a
> collection of about 2,500 gospel records, most of which are vinyl LPs.
> I've been tasked with determining industry standards and making
> suggestions for processing the collection.
>
> This list and many of your websites have been very helpful in tracking
> down related readings. My subsequent intention is to recommend direct use
> of the LPs handled only by staff, with digitization done on an as needed
> basis (instead of digitizing the entire collection in advance). What I
> would really like to know is how similar collections are providing access
> to researchers and the equipment in use. I'm particularly interested in
> access policies (number of uses, handling procedure), when and why you
> digitize, and any and all equipment in use including playback, listening
> stations, and digitization (and perhaps some links to dealers?).
>
> Thanks very much in advance,
> Lisa Colaianne
> UofM student