Comments to date on REAFFIRMATION of AES-11id-2006, AES information document for preservation of audio recordings - Extended term storage environment for multiple media archives,
published 2012-08-16 for comment.
I am pleased to see this topic revisited to reaffirm our position on storage environments. Never before has it been so germane.
My concern is with the use of the word "may", and I wonder if, in the light of uncertain economic conditions that tempt managers to find justification for deviation from ideal settings, we might consider more carefully that use. Specifically:
1. Standards are based upon research and much professional deliberation. I propose we change the word "may" to the word "can" in the sentence on page 4, paragraph 2, line 9.
2. I wonder why we are including this on page 7, section 4 Recommendation, 4.1 Temperature range, paragraph 2, last sentence. If we are certain, then we should not use the word "may". If we don't know, then we shouldn't be putting forth the notion that it might be so--as that position has the potential to give license to damaging conditions created under economic or political duress.
3. Commendations are due for the excellent Table 4 - Suitability of storage environments for media stability. Particularly, it is an improvement in clarity over the IPI Media Storage Quick Reference 2nd edition that is not sufficiently clear on the acceptable temperature ranges for acetate tape and polyester tape--as it lumps them together in COLD storage.
Finally, it should be considered that not only might administrators allow temperatures to rise in warm weather, they also might be tempted to allow temperatures to drop well below what is safe for all media--particularly polyester tape that can suffer binder/lubrication separation. To suggest that questions of which formulation is vulnerable be referred to the manufacturer is no longer relevant, and I am thrilled to not see it in this draft.
Thank-you very much!
Dear Mr. Gordon,
Thank you for your comments on REAFFIRMATION of AES-11id-2006, published in a formal public Call for Comment on 2012-08-16, and thank you especially for your kind words.
First a general note: this document is an AES Information Document and not a Standard. It seeks to provide advice on best practice for archivists but does not demand or support specific compliance. Reasons for this include the fact that in mixed-media archives, the precise media being archived will be known only to the reader of this document, who must make some judgements.
Secondly, the document is being offered for reaffirmation. This means to extend its life in essentially its current form. There has been no proposal to revise it in any substantive way.
I have responded to each of your points below. However I hope you will concur with me that there is no basis for initializing a revision process for this document.
Please reply by the end of the comment period if this reply is not acceptable to you.
Dear Mr. Yonge,
Considering that this document is for information only, I concur that there is no basis to initiate a revision, and I defer (as does this document) to the relevant ISO documents. I am still concerned, however, that media will continue to be endangered by the overzealous and the under-informed--despite the best efforts of professional organizations such as ours and the ISO. Thank-you very much for your kind response.