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General information

The following sources discuss best practices for processing and storage of various audio formats.

This report, commissioned by CLIR, outlines basic guidelines for storing and housing CDs and DVDs. It is aimed at librarians and archivists but is usable by individuals and businesses as well.
Farrington, Jim. “Preventive Maintenance for Audio Discs and Tapes.” NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 48, no.2 (December 1991), 437–445.
This guide walks the non-specialist through decisions about environment and housing for audio collections. Specific media addressed include LP, CD, tape, and 78s, with guidelines for containers, shelving, and more.
This is an online, user-friendly primer on how to properly store, handle and clean cylinders, shellac and vinyl discs, and analog tape. It also contains valuable advice on how to clean and maintain playback equipment, all laid out in an easy-to-read chart. The cleaning advice for media includes the recipe for an effective disc cleaning solution that LOC has had great results with, though it includes many caveats about obtaining proper ingredients and taking safety measures when preparing the mixture. It includes an extensive bibliography and a list of suppliers for storage enclosures.
Pickett, A. G. and M.M. Lemcoe. Preservation and Storage of Sound Recordings: A Study Supported by a Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Washington, D.C: Library of Congress, 1959.
“The basic document on the preservation and storage of all audio recordings before CDs reports on a study of preservation and storage of the more common sound recordings of the period. Conclusions include information and-or recommendations on storage environment, control of mold and fungus, furniture, and packaging.” — LOC, “Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell.”
This report focuses on the storage and preservation concerns of magnetic tape of all kinds, analog and digital, audio and video. Though written by an expert, the writing style is definitely for the layperson and the author provides excellent, simple descriptions of the basic structures of recording tape, with diagrams. The author describes various types of degradation such as sticky shed syndrome, lubricant loss, instability and fragility of the stored magnetic signal, and deformation of the base layer of the tape, and how to prevent or minimize these degradations. Other important factors discussed in the report are the differences in the way information is stored on tape, or the tracking.

George Blood, Anita Breckbill – cleaning, restoration, housing
Last updated: August 26, 2014, at 02:51 PM EDT

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