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Re: [ARSCLIST] [AMIA-L] Storage of Acetate Magnetic Media
There is some evidence that has me concerned at this point.
(1) Some reels of tape were shipped in plastic bags, some users
re-used the plastic bags inside the boxes. I recently found one of
four reels of Kodak tapes recording oral history interviews with old
Shakers (a now non-existent religious sect) had enough acetic acid
inside the plastic bag to cause my eyes to water and almost had me
leaving my studio. It played fine, but clearly some breakdown
products were accumulating in the semi-sealed plastic bag without any
opportunity to be buffered (see below). We had an extensive
discussion of this on the ARSC list and it seems that many people are
wary of Kodak tape.
(2) It has been reported to me privately and the person doing the
reporting does not yet wish to publicize it, but I believe a batch of
at-risk Scotch 111 has been discovered.
(3) As you said several years ago, any research done on any given
roll of tape will tell us about that one roll of tape. However, while
I don't think there is need for great alarm at this point, I do think
archives should start considering a plan to migrate acetate-based
tapes to be on the safe side.
(4) I hypothesize, without definite chemical proof, that the boxes
containing acetate tapes are acting as ad-hoc molecular sieves and
absorbing and buffering the acetic acid. This may be the reason that
some/many of these boxes are so crumbly. Perhaps they weren't made
from high-acid paper/cardboard, but became more acidic over time.
At 11:46 PM 1/13/2006, Jim Wheeler wrote on the AMIA-L:
I used the AD strips on the audio tapes I have from the fifties and
all of my acetate tapes checked okay.
Richard Hess and I are wondering if mag tape is susceptible to
I would like to know if anyone on this Listserve has experienced
vinegar syndrome with audio tapes??
Richard L. Hess richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada http://www.richardhess.com/
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm