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Re: [AV Media Matters] CD labels and inks
Jim Lindner wrote:
> I was surprised myself to see the recommendation for labels. In general
> - the archival community has LOTS of experience with adhesive labels of
> one sort or another and my understanding is that the experience - in
> general has been very poor. There are several issues - some relating to
> the adhesives, and others relating to the paper stock used for labels.
> Problems with adhesives relate not only to them losing their adhesive
> properties over time and in proper storage environments (cold and dry),
> but on the other end of the spectrum having adhesives that cannot be
> removed without great damage to the object that they are on.
With Jim's comments and those of others, including Steve Smolian, I'm
not surprised that the question of label adhesive has been raised.
Anyone who has been involved with old phonograph records has doubtless
found those where gummed labels have been stuck on the record labels
themselves. Most libraries were guilty of this practice for their own
identification purposes. You probably know by now that these will come
off after being saturated with a water soaked (distilled, please!)
label-sized sponge, leaving negligible to very little damage (with few
exceptions) to the label itself. The gummed "lick-to-stick" type labels
have been with us for a very long time and seem to provide the most
archivally stable method of labelling something, although the problem is
that they generally won't stick to non-porous surfaces. Typical
surfaces like this include the land areas of phonograph records, CD's,
CDR's and numerous other items.
For CD's, I wonder about the "imprintable surface" types that are
designed to be ink-jet printed. Here we have a paper surface laminated
to the CD or CDR of which the acid content AND the adhesive quality is
an unknown quantity. Also upon printing, you have the moisture of the
ink-jet process, coupled with use of an ink that has a serious tendancy
to smear if it gets wet!
Rimage has a full color CD/CDR printer, the Perfect Image "Prism" that
uses a dry transfer thermal ribbon and produces an output that appears,
for all the world, like screen printing. They aren't cheap at about US
$3,900 although it looks to me like the solution to archival labelling
for CD's or CDR's. You can also get a plain black ribbon wihich is less
expensive on the consumable side if you don't want the color
If you want you can contact them at 1-800-553-8312 or www.rimage.com
... Graham Newton
Audio Restoration by Graham Newton, http://www.audio-restoration.com
World class professional services applied to phonograph and tape
recordings for consumers and re-releases, featuring CEDAR processes.