Restoring Old Paper Tape

Fri Jan 22 14:23:51 CST 2016

on moldy   paper and other items....
generally  we  will  bag it and tag it  to isolate  it  from everything 
else... check part #   or  document  name  ( in the case of  printed material) 
against what already  exists.  if it  exists then  the moldy  nasty stuff is 
  scrap.  If it is  something  that  warrants  preservation  but not  found 
elsewhere then we consider moving forward  on preservation efforts.
Ed Sharpe archivist  for SMECC  _www.smecc.org_ (  
In a message dated 1/21/2016 6:57:02 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,  
silent700 at writes:

I'm  tossing this out here as a conversation-starter more than a
request for  help, although I may end up putting the knowledge to use.
Today I received  a set of original HP paper tapes for the 2115a
machine.  I don't know  if they've been archived or not - there are
dozens of HP tapes on bitsavers  and I'll have to make a P/N list and
compare them.  The real problem  is they're in horrible shape.  Decades
of basement moisture and likely  a few critters have turned them
blackened, moldy and stuck  together.

So, what to do?  How to get to the data without a  bio-hazardous
payload along for the ride?  My thoughts go toward  sunlight and/or U/V
light (like a hair salon sanitizer,) rubber gloves and  a mask,
isopropyl alcohol, careful picking apart of layers, etc.  I'd  think
one thing in our favor is that holes in paper are going to be  easier
to read than ink on paper.  So Part 1 is getting them into  readable
condition, with part 2 being the actual reading.

Any  experience out  there?


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