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vinyl in the tropics, a question of preservation
post Jan 14 2012, 19:12
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I took a bold step last summer and brought by record collection out with me to India, where I work and live. It's not the most impressive collection you ever saw, but it's very prescious to me, consisting of around 200 units, mostly jazz, soul, and other funky things (some of which are quite rare).

It was a difficult decision to take them out. I know that it's not best for their health to be transported and kept in tropical conditions, but then again it is best for my health to have them with me. I'd rather enjoy them now, even if it means their lives decrease a little.

Now that all this is said and done, I have to work out how best to store them. They all have plastic sleeves and I've given them a good cupboard in the center of the house, away from the possibility of damp and sunlight. Right now, the climate is perfect--cool mid 20C, dependable and dry, but in a few month it's going to get hot. Outside it will certainly exceed 40C; indoors it won't be so bad, but definitely more than the recommended 18-21C (Wikipedia). Should I expect them to sustain significant damage under these conditions? Do I risk warping them, or worse?

Then there's the monsson season. It rains more than you can possibly imagine here--more or less nonstop from July to September. The sleeves will be very susceptible to mold (everything rots in the wet season). I'm seriously thinking of wrapping everything up watertight, filling the cupboard with silica jell and locking it up until the rains finish. (I have plenty of CDs to listen to in the mean time!)

Basically, what I would like to find out is whether the 18-21C recommendation for archivists or whether it is a something I need to pay serious attention to. I could get a climate control for the cuppboard, I suppose, but I don't want to unless I really have to. My instinct says that my records are tough and the collection will survive. I've bought vinly out here that have clearly been baking in the Calcutta sun for 30 years, and they still sound fine. I have also scavanged a few off the ground after the flood in New Orleans. I wouldn't say that they played well after surviving being decontaminated in bleach water, but they definitely played.

Does anyone have any advise to share? Or anecdotes? I will welcome the off-topic.
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