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Many years ago, against my warnings, our library administration insisted that we apply labels to the top of CDs! When the labels started to peel, they, understandably, took the reflective surface with them. We tried about everything (including enlisting the assistance of chemistry experts in our School of defunct) and nothing worked. These two fact alone should tell you about both the priorities and intelligence of University Library community I worked for. Adding to the stupidity, my librarian, insisted that we not add any copy 3s (when discs were donated) since he believed (well, you can believe anything you want) that CDs were indestructible. He eventually ended up buying one of those machines which would apply another reflective surface to the doubt in an effort to convince the administration that he was right...and I think we all know what a "great" job those machines did.
Another major problem came when we got donations. Some of the CD boxes still had the foam liners in them. By the time we had received the donations, those liners started to disintegrate and leave deposits on the top surface of the disc. With our Preservation School "decommissioned" I turned to two of my music loving friends, who happened to be on the chemistry faculty, we finally concluded that nothing would work at removing the gunk.
In short, you might as well toss them or save a few as examples of the potential problems with CDs.

    On Thursday, December 8, 2016 5:38 PM, Frank Ferko <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Greetings, ARSC folks-

I'm wondering if anyone out there has encountered problems with CDs that have been stored in soft PVC CD sleeves, which, over time have stuck to the surface of the CD.  At Stanford we recently received a donation of a large number of CDs, but the original owner put many of the CDs into PVC sleeves to save space.  We are now encountering the problem of the printing on the surface of some of the CDs sticking to the plastic sleeves, so that removing the CDs from the sleeve may damage the CD by removing the lacquer and exposing the underlying aluminum.  Has anyone dealt with this issue and come up with a reliable process of removing the CDs safely from the sticky PVC sleeves?

I would appreciate any good advice that anyone has to offer.


Frank Ferko
Sound Archives Librarian
Archive of Recorded Sound
Stanford University
Stanford, CA  94305