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LTO-6 tape archival storage location for residential garage - dust concern

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Sam Lee
LTO-6 tape archival storage location for residential garage - dust concern
on Oct 20, 2016 at 2:10:37 am

I have many LTO-6 tapes (approaching thousands) and they're stored in a cool residential garage as archival storage. There's no humidity to worry about (in CA). I do not have the budget to put in water&dust proof cases or in a climate controlled AC room. The small side garage door will be opened on a daily basis to let fresh air coming in. Dust particles will get in somehow. Many of tapes are stored in a dozen or more stack milk crates configuration for easy access. I considered putting them in a large Pelican 1650. But that reduces accessibility. Should I put the LTO tapes in a cheap plastic bag to reduce the dust entering from the plastic case when stored in the open milk crate?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: LTO-6 tape archival storage location for residential garage - dust concern
on Oct 20, 2016 at 2:45:06 am

Sam, do you know how many Southern California filmmakers have lost their entire artistic legacies to the ravages of the environment because they tried to rationalize away the pain of paying for proper storage with proper conditions? The most serious impacts on all forms of stored/archived media is not from anything catastrophic, but rather from the more subtle environmental changes in uncontrolled environments, such as a garage. Sure, there is a cost involved, but 25-years from now when the Academy is building your retrospective, you will think of my advice. Whether you take that advice is strictly up to you, of course.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Sam Lee
Re: LTO-6 tape archival storage location for residential garage - dust concern
on Oct 20, 2016 at 3:07:11 am

You got a point there. I can start by at least storing them in a Pelican 1650, which is dust and water proof. I don't think mold and mildew will grow in the case. Well at least I hope not.


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO-6 tape archival storage location for residential garage - dust concern
on Oct 27, 2016 at 4:37:10 pm

In that environment, you're looking at larger particulates versus micro-particulates as the primary issue in storage. We have a similar environment in Arizona and we use simple SterLite and Rubbermaid storage containers for the 1,000s of tapes we store in our lab. Add skin, hair, and pet dander (we're a dog-friendly office) to the normal particulates because of the traffic in our lab and it gets very dusty. The normal Sterlite containers along with the normal tape cases keep that stuff off of the tapes. We have QIC, DAT and DLT tapes that have been stored in this manner for 22 to 28 years and we can still read/restore every one of them.

The main considerations that you should keep in mind are the humidity and temperature differences when it's time to restore data. In our case, the drives and tapes are in a same-state environment. However, if you are bringing tapes back in for restore from an environment where there is a 10ยบ difference in temperature or 15% difference in humidity levels, we recommend that you allow the tape(s) to acclimatize to the restore environment for at least 8 hours - or overnight if possible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting that you should be careless with your tapes, but on the other hand they are not items that will spoil if they are not handled "just so".

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.tolisgroup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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