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Subject: Edison phonograph cylinders

Edison phonograph cylinders

From: Susan T. Stinson <ststinso>
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 1996
This is in reply to Sue Dunlap's inquiry about removing mold from
wax cylinders.  While I have heard of methods to make the mold drop
off the wax surface, they are not practical since the mold has
'eaten' the wax which was in the space now occupied by the mold, and
pits will be the result.  Basically, that area of the recording is
partly or completely gone.  I find it advisable to leave the mold
where it is, cleaning the record gently with clean velvet or
lint-free cloth and storing the cylinders in a dry, temperate
location.  During playback, there will be some noise due to the
presence of the mold and in proportion to the amount of mold.  A few
spots will not interfere too much with the recording; a great deal
of mold cover will make it difficult to recover much of the original
recording. It's a problem which we can minimize by giving these
recordings optimum care and also transferring them to a more stable
format if possible, since age is a natural enemy of many sound
recording formats.

If you would like to read more about cylinder records, I recommend
the Fall 1995 issue (Vol. 26 no. 2) of the Journal of the
Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC).  This issue is
devoted to various aspects of this type of recording; some articles
contain bibliographic citations for numerous other books and
articles on the subject.

Susan T. Stinson, Curator
Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive
Syracuse University Library

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:41
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 23, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-41-001
Received on Tuesday, 22 October, 1996

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