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Re: [ARSCLIST] Adhesive tape survey
You are a patient soul. This sums it all up.
Regarding your last paragraph, I have one comment. If it ruffles feathers, then tough. People should
even have a job dealing with tapes if they're totally ignorant of the subject. That someone wouldn't
know that splices are SUPPOSED to be there in edited tapes is evidence of a deep ignorance and such
a person should not be charged with handling old and usually fragile tapes. If a "Tapes 101" course
is needed, then perhaps a school of archivists or library scientists should institute such a course.
Richard's website is a great place to start until such a course becomes mandatory for young'uns who
have lived their lives in the post-tape era.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <arclists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Adhesive tape survey
Securing the end of the reel keeps the outer wraps tight. In some instances, the tape's outer
wraps will become loose and that may exacerbate physical degradation in these outer layers. It may
also increase the risk of edge damage.
On the other hand, if you're not going to move/ship the tapes, and they're not in a room near a
big piece of HVAC equipment that vibrates the shelves, there probably isn't a compelling need to
tape the ends, though I still prefer it since unwound tape is often damaged tape.
It is imperative that they be taped for shipping (which, admittedly, is my business model, hence
perhaps I am overly concerned).
The best tape is now discontinued, but was generally referred to as "Zebra Tape".
I am using the horrid crepe tape which is the only thing still available on a regular basis. It
comes in red and blue, and that has been traditionally used for blue for heads out and red for
tails out, but few people adhere to that standard. More importantly, arrange your reproduction of
the tapes so that they are in a play wind when they are finished. Don't rewind them (especially on
a machine which doesn't have a slow "library wind" mode).
But, however horrid the tape is, I still think it's better to lose an inch of tape than run the
risk of damaging ten feet. Besides, in some/many instances the tape that gets taped to the reel is
new leader that I've already added.
As you're aware, but for some archivists who may not be familiar with tape production, splices in
the middle of tapes were how things were produced before digital audio editing. Tape was
physically cut --
sometimes on a note in a classical (or other) musical production --
and different takes were thereby assembled. I recall one organ record that I released that had a
segment that repeated and the artist only liked one version of that section, so we copied the tape
of the section she liked and used the same version in both places where the section repeated.
This was THE WAY IT WAS DONE. There weren't other options. Copying the tape lost a generation
(which was not desired), and most of us used 3M white splicing tape at the time as it was
considered the best.
Here's what I'm using and where I got them from
At 09:05 AM 2007-01-23, Christie Peterson wrote:
I'm looking into what kind of adhesive tape to use to affix the end of 1/4" open-reel audio tape
to the reel for long-term storage. As an archivist, I am perhaps obsessively afraid of adhesive
tape (it still makes me cringe a little inside every time I have to use splicing tape), since I
have seen first-hand what it does after 20, 40, 60, etc. years.
Still, I am at least equally afraid of damage to improperly stored audio tapes, so I'm looking for
From those of you who have been in the "business" for multiple decades, and/or who have worked
extensively with older tapes, what type of adhesive tape do you advise (and not advise) using?
Is there anything out there that doesn't seep excessively, or do other *terribly* ugly things as
it ages? What do you use and why?
As a corollary, the original tapes I'm working with have been stored with their ends un-secured
for 30-40 years, and most don't seem to have suffered any ill effects from this. Any
opinions/horror stories on the importance of taping the end down?
Thanks in advance,
Project Archivist, Muskie Archives & Special Collections
70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, ME 04240-6018
Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.