University Archives
ARCHIVES AND LIBRARY DISASTER PLAN


FIRE AND SMOKE DAMAGE

Damage resulting from extremely high temperatures is usually irreversible.
Information contained on charred materials may sometimes be retrieved through specialized photography.

Because of the fragile nature of such materials, they should be handled only by professional conservators.

FIRE DAMAGED MAGNETIC MEDIA

There is little chance for recovery if the tapes are warped, stuck together, or are shedding coating.

As soon as possible, separate, as those reels which appear to have sustained the least amount of heat damage.

Clean all debris from exposed surfaces.

Slowly perform at least two wind-rewind passes to inspect the tapes.

Rewind the tapes onto clean or new reels and make new labels.

Relax these rewound and cleaned tapes for 24 to 48 hours in the normal operating environment.

Perform a read and recopying pass. If the tapes will not load onto the transport at this time, store them in a low humidity environment and retry at intervals.

Tapes that are damaged only by heat will still become brittle and should be recopied.

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