Freezing Acetate Base Magnetic Tapes

  • Reto Kromer, Ltd, Switzerland
  • Freezing magnetic tapes seems to be a kind of tabu in the archival world. According with the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) in Rochester NY, we believe that the risk of lubricant separation is less likely than the acetate base degradation. We wish to share some information about a project in which we chose to freeze (and to defroze) very badly vinegar syndrome attacked magnetic tapes: roughly 2000 triacetate base 16 mm magnetic tapes with 3 and more reading on the acid-detection strips developed by the IPI. As our client could not afford immediately the costs for a duplication, we proposed to freeze the tapes, in order to gain time to find a viable and affordable solution. We think this approach is very effective for special situations, but we don't believe this is an ideal solution for a current storage practice.