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Subject: Storing CDs

Storing CDs

From: George Brock-Nannestad <pattac>
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2007
Christopher Gray <methistory [at] aol__com> writes

>Strictly on the basis of ancient and inscrutable custom, we have
>been storing our CD-roms (of architectural drawings) in the hard
>plastic jewel cases they came in.

Please note that CD-roms are not really considered archival, meaning
that they do really need to be surveyed on a regular basis and
re-copied (migrated) before the inevitable breakdown suddenly make
them unreadable.

> ... We could compress this group to a
>fifth of its present size if we swapped out the jewel cases for the
>familiar floppy plastic sleeves.

The familiar floppy plastic sleeves come in a variety of materials.
You only want those that cannot give of chemical substances;
polypropylene is the material of choice. Some sleeves have a back
pocket for the inlay card, others allow two CD-roms in one. In
either case, store only one CD-rom, and let the least protected
surface be the shiny one, not the label side. It does sound
counter-intuitive, but the label side has virtually no scratch
protection, i.e. scratches on this side are extremely damaging. On
the other hand, the side that faces the reading head was made thick
to tolerate scratches. To put it briefly: place the CD-rom in the
sleeve so that you cannot read the label.

>... Can someone tell me why I shouldn't switch to the more
>compact sleeves?

The only reason could be that bending the CD-rom so that the label
side stretches (convex) may be detrimental to the thin protective

George Brock-Nannestad

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:25
                 Distributed: Saturday, October 6, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-25-009
Received on Sunday, 30 September, 2007

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