2.1.3 Strategy for access to mechanical carrier collections

Because of their susceptibility to deterioration by replay, strategies have to be in place to restrict the replay of mechanical carriers to the absolute minimum. In pre-digital times, record collections of broadcasters and national libraries typically held at least two copies of mass replicated discs; one for access and one “untouchable” for preservation. Unique recordings on cylinders or instantaneous discs were transferred to magnetic tape of which at least two copies were held — again, one for preservation and the other for access. Such strategies must be pursued until long-term preservation through digitisation can be arranged (IASA-TC 04). In collections that have not been completely digitised, the request for access is often taken as a trigger to prioritise digitisation of that material.