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Re: [ARSCLIST] Tapes and Mold

There may be further damage to the tapes when placing them in sealed bags.

It is better to isolate and chill them to 37-40f but not freeze them until they can be dealt with. Dealing with them means contacting Safe Sound Archive or Specs Brothers.

This issue was significant at the 1998 Boston Pulic Library flood and not-quite-freezing was an effective solution.

Steven Smolian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Christie Peterson" <cpeterso@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 9:15 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Tapes and Mold

We recently dealt with a mold outbreak in the library here, and let me just say, you want to do everything in your power to prevent it from happening. I strongly urge you to isolate the moldy/potentially moldy items in sealed plastic bags ASAP, until you decide what to do with them.

peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
"wisdom" is that the tapes need to be kept below 50% RH for the fungus to
remain dormant. Some fungus, however, can become active as low as 40% RH.

The flowering heads contain the majority of the spores and, if not removed,
running the tapes over the heads during playback will cause spores to be
thrown amazing distances through the room. Inhaling dormant spores can make
you just as sick as inhaling active fragments of the flowering heads.

And throwing dormant spores all over the place leaves you wide open to a major outbreak. All it takes is one day in August when your HVAC goes out for a few hours, or the electricity goes out overnight, and you've suddenly got a forest of fungus going all over things you didn't even think were infested. And it just gets worse each time it happens, since each outbreak spreads even more spores.

So do yourself a favor, and immediately bag anything you think might be infested. And when you treat it, make sure you don't have any other tapes in the area at a minimum (if you have a conservation lab with a ventilation/isolation hood available, even better). This may sound a bit paranoid, but this is one of those "ounce of prevention" situations.

Good luck!

Christie Peterson
Project Archivist, Muskie Archives & Special Collections
Bates College
70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, ME 04240-6018
(t) 207-753-6918
(f) 207-755-5911

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