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[ARSCLIST] Some questions on long-term storage of audio CDs
A few of us are scoping out a long-term archive/repository project for
commercial audio CDs. It is currently at a very preliminary conceptual
stage, and most of our efforts are to gain a global understanding of
the various real-world issues we will have to contend with.
Thus, I'd like to collect the wisdom of this group regarding the
archiving/preservation of commercial audio CDs. Below I will raise a
few questions/points and if you have a comment on any of them, I'd
appreciate your feedback.
Also, references would be appreciated to anyone who has already
started, or plans to start, an audio CD repository. And obviously
references to any journal articles or white papers on this topic.
(Surely I'm not the first one to think about this!)
Of course, the focus is mostly on traditional stamped aluminum (and
in some cases gold) audio CDs. However, recently more and more
"commercial" audio CDs are optically-recorded on CD-R disks, which
adds a new twist to preservation.
O.k., some of my questions/points:
1) What are the degradation mechanisms of typical commercial audio CDs
and how can they be mitigated?
2) Since most commercial audio CDs use standard "generic" jewel boxes,
our thoughts are for each such CD to remove the contents (the disc
and all paper inserts) from the jewel box (which will be recycled),
and place the contents into a sleeve or bag (like a Zip-Loc?).
For a typical commercial audio CD, the contents will reduce down
to about 1/8" thick. Not only will this increase storage capacity,
but might allow us to more easily mitigate long-term degradation
as brought up in #1 above.
3) Barcodes. I notice that the vast majority of commercial audio CD
releases I've seen going back a number of years all have bar codes.
I assume these barcodes could be of great advantage for cataloging
4) Cleaning before storage? Should we consider cleaning the discs
before storage? If so, how should they be cleaned? Are there
machines which do this quickly and safely?
No doubt there's several other issues that need to be brought up and
discussed. You are welcome to bring up any other issues that come to
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Btw, anyone here interested in assisting with the establishment of
our audio CD repository, contact me in private email.