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an archiving question

Deckman 17 Oct 11 - 06:43 PM
MartinRyan 17 Oct 11 - 06:49 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Oct 11 - 07:05 PM
Don Firth 17 Oct 11 - 07:26 PM
Don Firth 17 Oct 11 - 07:36 PM
Deckman 17 Oct 11 - 07:44 PM
Bill D 17 Oct 11 - 07:55 PM
Deckman 17 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM
Deckman 18 Oct 11 - 11:46 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Oct 11 - 11:50 AM
Deckman 18 Oct 11 - 12:12 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Oct 11 - 04:16 PM
Jack Campin 18 Oct 11 - 04:34 PM
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Subject: an archiving question
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 06:43 PM

I'm in the process of archiving about 300 reel to reel (R/R) tape recordings spanning some 50 years. I've just come across two tapes, made in 1956, that were made in Kansas. These tapes are made of "PAPER." Yes ... I said "PAPER" This is new to me. Has anyone else out there run into "paper tapes" ? bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 06:49 PM

Seems to have been arouind alright - though 50's seems very late....

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 07:05 PM

In the late 50s Kansas was about 30 years behind the rest of the world, and has lost 1.8 years per actual year since - so it's not surprising. The lag rate appears to be increasing recently, but that's mostly just in the politics.

(I live here 'cause it makes it seem like I've lived forever.)

John


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 07:26 PM

Paper tape? Yeah.

Dick Landberg had a wire recorder that he'd loaned me for awhile back in 1954 or so, and I had seen an open-reel tape recorder or two (complete with mylar-backed tape) and I lusted after one, but didn't have the money at the time (pricy!!).

Then, when I was in Denver in 1955-56 and Patti was in Chicago, she sent me a tape of a whole bunch of songs she had learned recently (many from Bob Gibson, I think, whom she knew). I didn't have anything to play it on at the time, so I took it with me back to Seattle, then bought my first open-reel tape recorder. The first thing I did was to play Patti's tape, and noted that the backing of the tape was paper! New to me!

It played okay, and I learned a bunch of songs from that tape. The tape itself seemed kind of flimsy to me and I was real careful handling it.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I still have it around here someplace!! Along with some other tapes, stashed in a closet somewhere! Good stuff as I recall. I'll see if I can find them.

Just what you need, right!?? Another bloody box of tapes!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 07:36 PM

Only the vaguest idea of what's on them. I don't have anything to play them on anymore. Still have a small, battery operated cassette recorder, but otherwise, I've gone digital (Zoom H2).

Hoots back then. Practice tapes. Other stuff. Plus, of course, our evil habit of "collecting" songs by taping each others' records....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 07:44 PM

Thank you one and all. As usual, I always get an education when I post a question to Mudcat. bob


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 07:55 PM

*I* had a reel-to-reel tape recorder in Kansas in about 1954, but I don't remember ever seeing paper backed tape.

(still hoping that something with Larry Keifer will turn up..) No one there knew what Child Ballads were until he learned a bunch.


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM

Bill ... I'm still working on them. I know, I know ,,, it's been a year. But when I'm dealing with this huge quantity of material, and it gets crazy. Be patient, and I'll get some Larry Keifer to you. IN fact, I'll trade you two Walt Robertson's for one Patti Payne. bob


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Deckman
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 11:46 AM

Bill D ... I just mended a Larry Keifer tape. I should it ready for you by tomorrow. bob


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 11:50 AM

The Lomax's penitentiary recordings - magnificently re-mastered for the Rounder series, were on paper tape.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Deckman
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 12:12 PM

BOY ... is it fragile stuff!


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 04:16 PM

The wiki article linked up above describes the paper tape as a "chemically treated paper" on which the recording was a visible "track" written by electrodes, and "read" by photocells.

Just guessing based on the patent dates given, the recording paper "chemical treatment" likely was similar to the office paper commonly called "thermofax" used in early copy and fax machines, and if so, it's extrememely unlikely that any "track" remains on the tape. My experience with stuff printed on such chemically treated paper from copy machines has been that it fades so rapidly that three to five years is about as old as even a good scanner and "advanced photoshopping" can pull a readable text image off of it. "Register receipts" using modern versions are often illegible a week after you get them (which may be why some sellers still use it, and then demand the original receipt to honor a warranty?).

It's possible that a later magnetic tape may have used a "paperish" substrate with magnetic "dust" coating or impregnated in the tape for the medium, since very early tapes tried out quite a few different base/tape materials before settling on the "mylar" types. The "paper" you have could be an early polyester with a "filler" that makes it "look like paper," although I don't find any description of a tape of that kind.

If your paper tapes are the kind described in the wiki article, there should be a visible track on the paper, although you might need some magnification to see it, and the likelihood of "fading" of the image means that not seeing such a track doesn't necessarily mean you have another kind of tape.

John


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Subject: RE: an archiving question
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 04:34 PM

Might be worth contacting the British Library audio archive. They claim to be able to read EVERY audio format ever used anywhere. I heard a radio programme about them a while back; the most arcane item they played was Nelson Mandela's speech from the dock at the Rivonia trial, which was done on some transcription device only ever used by the South African courts.


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