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[AV Media Matters] CD Labels Idea

I follow Steve Smolian's and Jim Lindner's notion that basically ALL
self adhesive labels have problems for long term use in archives.  I'm
not well informed on this but I thought that self adhesives were based
on polymer chemistry and the polymers break down over time ensuring the
demise of the adhesive qualities.  I've seen zillions of peeling labels
in archives and it is not an issue to be taken lightly since some of
those labels carry critical identifying information.  This is especially
true with any media that requires a machine intermediary to retrieve the

Some vendors sell labels aimed at archives and these use a foil backing
of some sort which I believe is simply designed to prohibit the
migration of inks through the paper layer.  Possibly there are other
qualities which these labels feature that someone else could comment on.
 I see the Gaylord catalog offering labels designed for use in laser
printers that are described as "permanent" and as having acrylic
adhesive. One statement says "Acrylic adhesive provides permanent
adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces..."  Any chemists out there that
could comment on acrylics and polymers?

Self-adhesives not withstanding, I wonder if the admittedly small area
surrounding the spindle hole on virtually all (?) CDs could be put to
use as a place to place labels.  I think Mike Biel may have suggested
this at one point too.  If small labels were made (or could be die cut
from larger label stock) and if a software program allowed for circular
printing, it seems that quite a bit of information (well, enough anyway)
could be printed and these could be placed on CDs without worrying about
the fragile varnish layer that covers the data section.  The low mass of
these labels wouldn't hurt anything as regards the transport system,
plus, in the case of blank CD-Rs, the manufacturer's media
identification would remain visible, which might be helpful down the
road.  The clear "run-off area' (for lack of a better term) may, in some
cases, carry a finely etched batch number or some other info supplied by
the manufacturer, but I wonder if this could be preserved by using the
right size label, or perhaps the info is not critical and could be
obscured the way 78rpm labels often obscure the etched number

IF the adhesives being offered (acrylic, etc.) are indeed "permanent"
and IF we don't want to jeopardize the data area of the CD, it seems
logical that some attention be turned to using the clear, or unused,
polycarbonate area near the spindle hole.  I think Mike suggested
writing an ID number with a marking pen, but if more (neater) info was
needed, I bet there are programs that could print small circular type.

The 78 era made extensive use of circular printing for all its labels,
so perhaps we could recycle that bit of common sense in our digital age?

Would this work?  And has anyone figured out how to print circular

Moving right along...

Steve Green

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