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RE: [AV Media Matters] arsclist Deterioration of Acetate TAPES and FILM

I've had some acetate based tapes that had been stored in the manufacturer's
original plastic bag and original box that smelled of vinegar.  They played
fine and we allowed the tapes to air out after the transfers, although we
them from our shelves for fear it might be contagious.  We replaced the
boxes with archival boxes.

We've had two very extreme cases of VS within the last year, and they were
triacetate-based  Kodak reels from the 50's or 60's.  The reels had also
stored in the original plastic bags from the manufacturer.  They were very
in odor, stretched beyond hopes of a second playback during playback, had
edges and had to be thrown away because the tape itself would not pack onto
take-up reel.  I am not certain of the climate these reels were stored in
they reached us within the last year.  But I believe they had been in the
attic here in the hot, humid southern US.

Jeff Carroll
Audio Preservation & Restoration Engineer
Southern Folklife Collection
Manuscripts Department
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.(919) 962-1345   Fax (919) 962-3594

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