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Handling 78RPM Records that are Donated to the Internet Archive

B.George and Fred Patterson @ The ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC) are the leaders of this project. created 8.5.16. last ver: 2.8.17

78RPM records that are donated to the Internet Archive PhysicalArchive

Guide to "How Much 78 Packing + Shipping Material do I Need?"

• White boxes. TWENTY 78s discs in a 11" x 11" u-line white clamshell box.
ONE white clamshell box for every 20 discs

• Brown box. 13x13x13. 4 white boxes fit snugly. Each 13x13x13 brown box holds 80 78rpm discs.
One brown box for every 80 discs

• Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is scored every foot. for every 13x13x13 brown box of 78s you will need
Approx 50 ft. of bubble wrap for every 13x13x13 brown box
how figured:
8 sheets/feet bubble for one white clamshell box, 2 sheets around five 78s, twenty 78s per box.
That means 32 sheets/feet of bubble wrap for all the white clamshell boxes that fit in a brown box
6 sheets for the bottom of the13x13x13 brown box;
6 sheets for the top of the 13x13x13 brown box;
6 sheets (3 on each side) of the 13x13x13 brown box

Odds and ends - very approximate

• Approx 80 - 90 twelve-inch 78s will fit into a 13x13x13 brown box. Bubble wrap approx 10 sheets (10')
• Approx 15-20 ten-inch 78 albums will fit into a 13x13x13 brown box. Depends on how many discs in
an album.
• Approx 15-20 twelve-inch 78 albums will fit into a 13x13x17 brown box. Depends on how many discs in
an album.
• Transcriptsion disc are large 16" - we are experimenting with packaging. Suggest: two u-line S-18389 - 17x17x6 brown boxes placed inside a u-line S-4968 18x18x12 brown box

• Approx 180 CDs, in plastic jewel cases, will fit into a 13x13x13 brown box.

If just packing up loose 10" 78s, for every 1000 discs you should order:
• one bundle of white clamshell boxes (50 in a bundle)
• one bundle of 13x13x13 brown boxes (15 in a bundle)
• one roll of bubble wrap (750' in a roll)

Audio Preservation + Packing and Shipping Supplies

On hand audio supplies are located on green shelves at Florida warehouse.

  • 13" x 13" x 13" brown boxes from uline for ten-inch 78s, ten-inch 78 albums, CDs and LP's
  • 13" x 13" x 17" brown boxes from uline for twelve-inch 78s, twelve-inch 78 albums and LP's (S-4723)
  • 11" x 11" x 3" u-line white clamshell box for ten-inch 78s. (S-15147)
  • 18" x 18" x 12" brown boxes from uline for sixteen-inch 33+78rpm Transcription discs (S-4968)
  • 10" gold (diecut hole) record sleeves from Bags Unlimited for ten-inch 78rpm + ten-inch 33rpm discs (SKU: s10g)
  • 12" white paper (diecut hole) sleeve from Bags Unlimited for LPs + twelve-inch 78rpm discs (SKU: s12wr)
  • 10" clear polyethylene outer record sleeve from Bags Unlimited for ten-inch 78rpm + ten-inch 33rpm discs and any ten-inch (10") disc with a cardboard sleeve
  • 12" clear polyethylene outer record sleeve from Bags Unlimited for LPs + twelve-inch 78rpm discs
  • 12" width, 3/16" Bubblewrap (750' in a roll) from uline. order S-3927P
  • 12" width, 3/16" Bubblewrap Uline Air (12" x 175' box) for smaller shipments S-1012
  • Stickers white 4x3
  • InternetArchiveStandardPallets.
  • 42" by 42" Cardboard sheet (units of 25 sheets) for layers from uline
  • clear packing tape item #S-423 (???) (20ft or approx 7 yds of tape per 13x13x13 box)
    rolls are 110yrds long so approx. 15 sq boxes sealed with one roll
  • tape gun
  • utility knives + blades
if more supplies are needed, see OrderingSupplies

On arrival of a Donation of ten-inch 78s:

  • REMEMBER - 78 discs are very fragile! Handle carefully.
  • count the pallets/boxes make sure you get everything on bill of lading/contract/deed.
  • Start a DonationItem if one does not exist for this donation.
  • Take photos of the documentation and the general collection (not each thing, just an overview) and add it to the DonationItem. To add files/upload to an existing item do https://archive.org/upload/?identifier=XXX
  • * contact B.George or Fred Patterson. If donation has been arranged/deeded to the ARChive of Contemporary Music, ARC will supply collection proper name, copies of deed and any special considerations or information. ARC will call the donor to advise that shipment has arrived and to say thanks.
  • *Deed may require that materials are counted and condition evaluated (we have loose guidelines as to how to do easily)
  • IF material is packed safely, stable and on the right size pallet – do nothing. Put it into the injest process (we will need to create “safely, stable” criteria.)
  • IF material looks badly or unusually packed - boxes piled too high, piles sagging, boxes damaged, pallet not a standard IA size, boxes wet or moldy, or piled material looks unstable in any way, then they need to be repackaged.

Handling 78s:

  • REMEMBER - 78 discs are very fragile! Handle carefully.
  • Most 78s are made from shellac, ie beetle (not Beatle) parts
  • Never touch the surface (black surface) of a 78, or any sound recording with your fingers. Fingers have oil, oil embeds dirt and dust. Support from the center and fingers on the edge
  • Do not pick up by the edges
  • Do not lift more than 10 at a time (about an 1.5" or so thick).
  • When removing from a large box of 78s, make sure that the bulk remains upright, as the weight of angled recording may cause breakage
  • Lift and set down carefully. Always place on a clean surface flat, padded preferred, when working on or re-sleeving.
  • ideally all unsleeved 78s are placed in a clean gold or white paper sleeve.
  • Better recordings in sleeves, or recordings with cardboard illustrated sleeves should be placed in a clear plastic archival 10" outer sleeves.

Repackaging + Reboxing 78s

  • 78rpm discs may be delivered in a variety of boxes, of different sizes, the boxes in various condition.
  • The ideal goal is to place all 78rpm discs in 13"x13" x 13" (13sq) boxes, label the boxes, then place on a proper IA pallet. Pallets have nine boxes on a level, three levels high, with a flat cardboard sheet between levels. * strap or shrinkwrap?
  • How a 13sq box is filled with 78rpm discs will be determined by how the original material was delivered.
  • REMEMBER - 78 discs are very fragile! Handle carefully.
If 78s in many smaller similar sized boxes, smaller/thinner than 13sq boxes, in good condition

  • Sometimes materials arrive in smaller thin wall boxes holding approx 25 discs. Four of these will fit into a 13sq.
  • Place three or four (whatever fits) of these boxes, upright, in 13sq box
  • The goal is to keep the discs from having back and forth play, ie being loose in the 13sq box.
  • Use packing material below, on the sides, between and above the small boxes to eliminate play.
  • Packing material may be bubblewrap or newspaper or old 78 sleeves below, above, and between the boxes to remove the space on the sides but not to fill all space above. Packing materials should be evenly arranged across any surface. Foam peanuts may also be used on the sides, but not the bottom or top.
  • If there are only a few smaller sized boxes these can be mixed with loosely packed discs, described below
  • If 78s are in any box that will fit into a 13sq box, and in good condition, place in a 13sq box, upright. Fill the remained of the 13sq box with packing material or mixed with loosely packed discs, described below
If loose 78s in odd sized or damaged boxes:
  • Unpack 78s from the boxes and place individual 78s in new 13sq boxes, upright
  • REMEMBER - 78 discs are very fragile! Handle carefully.
  • 78s should be standing up in each box, not flat. If in sleeves, sleeve opening at top
  • place bubble wrap or cardboard every 20 or so 78s.
  • ideally they are all already in sleeves
  • if not sleeved, cost/time considerations will determine if you will place in sleeves
  • Often 78s are in older green, fragile and crumbling thin cardboard or paper sleeves. If they cover the disc pretty well, leave alone. If not, remove and place in gold sleeve. If time/money considerations apply - ie a large collection that needs to be processed quickly, leave alone.
  • BUT if possible place in sleeves. Placing each 78 disc in a new gold paper sleeve is the ideal
  • Make sure there is no play/wobbling within the box
  • If you encounter cardboard, printed sleeves, empty or full, put aside and place in a separate 13sq box. Mark box 'Picture sleeves'.
  • mark each box with an up arrow
  • Label each box with a collection name (or IA ID equivalent)

Placking loose 78's in new cartons, for placement in 13x13x13 boxes:
  • Select five 10” 78s that have sleeves. Remember, 78s are fragile - handle with care.

  • Wrap the five 78s in bubble wrap, one sheet, 24” long. Sleeves for ten-inch 78rpm records from Bags Unlimited
  • 002.jpg
  • Put one 12” by 12”sheet (sheets of bubble wrap tear at 12”) of bubble wrap on the bottom of the white clamshell box. White boxes are 11x11 u-line white clamshell box or similar. Bubblewrap from uline.
  • 003.jpg
  • The 78s are to be placed in the box with the sleeve opening up.
  • 004.jpg
  • Box lid should be on the left. Place the five wrapped 78s into the box, opening of the sleeves up/at the top.
  • 005.jpg
  • Tuck extra bubble wrap into any open space between the records and the box walls.
  • 006.jpg
  • Tuck any bubble wrap overhang in at all sides.
  • 007.jpg
  • Place four (4) packages of five (5) 78s into the box. Most 78s are approximately the same thickness, so a box should hold four packages. Some early Edison 78s are thicker, so adjust!
  • 009.jpg
  • Place one or more 12” sheet of bubble wrap on top to make the box close snugly, but not so that the 78s are crushed.
  • Label the box if necessary.
  • 010.jpg
  • If you need a label, tape it down. If you ever want to use the box again, and our preference, use magic/removeable tape. Here we are using packing tape.
  • 011.jpg
  • The smaller white boxes are now ready to be placed in larger shipping boxes. Use a 13” square box (13sq boxes from uline ). To make a shipping box see Building a 13sq box for 78's: Take about six sheets of 13” bubble wrap.
  • 012.jpg
  • Place the six sheets on the bottom of the 13” square box.
  • 013.jpg
  • Place the white boxes into the 13” square box, make sure the white clamshell boxes are standing upright, with the top up.
  • 014.jpg
  • Four white clamshell boxes fit into a brown 13” square box.
  • 015.jpg
  • Roll up a sheet of bubble wrap.
  • 016.jpg
  • Place it deep in the space between the white boxes and the wall of the brown box.
  • 017.jpg
  • Place three such rolls of bubble wrap into the space.
  • 018.jpg019.jpg
  • Then place enough bubble wrap on top of the white boxes to make it nearly even with the walls of the brown box.
  • 020.jpg
  • Tape the flaps of the box.
  • 021.jpg
  • Cross-tape the box.
  • 022.jpg
  • Mark brown box with an arrow indicating the “up” position.
  • 023.jpg
  • See instructions for making box label's here
  • Attach properlabel for storage or shipping.
If 78s are in same sized, sturdy boxes in good condition
  • If there are many boxes in good condition, and they are not ridiculously heavy, they can be placed on pallets as is
  • If there are enough, and they are as sturdy as the 13sq boxes, place so that they make up an entire level.
  • If there are only a few, place on top level (3d level) of a pallet
  • If they are in milk crates, or uncovered plastic or paper boxes of any kind, re-box in 13sq boxes.

Mixed relevant materials in a donation of 78s

  • Donations of 78s often come with other materials as part of the shipment.
  • You can expect 12" LP, 12" 78s. 7" singles, albums of 12" 78s, albums of 10" 78s, CDs, VHS, DVD, cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, audio equipment, books, songbooks, photographs, posters and paper items.
  • 12" 78s, 12" 78 albums and 10" 78 albums should be considered as part of any 78rpm donation.
  • Loose 12" 78s are usually classical and should be placed in white paper sleeves.
  • If there are enough loose 12" 78s they can be placed in their own 13sq box, placed upright. They can also be mixed with loose 10" 78s or 10" 78 albums or ugly empty 10" 78 albums. Any combination is OK as long as the box seems stable and not too heavy. All 12" 78s may be too heavy, so use paper or bubble wrap spacing/padding.
  • This also applies to 12" 78 albums and 10" 78 albums. Best if all materials of the same configuration in same boxes, but if stable, really doesn't matter. One trick is to alternate the spine direction, every other album.
  • 12" 78 albums will not fit into a 13sq box. These should be placed in a standard book box, approx 13"x13"x17".
  • Sometimes 10" + 12" albums are empty. If illustrated or perfect condition or interesting, then save. Some judgment/expertise needed here. Otherwise save everything, place in separate 13sq box, mark box, place on top level of any pallet.

Other materials in a donation of 78s

  • Anything that is NOT 10" or a 78 should be packaged separately in our standard 13sq box
  • Mark what's in the box.
  • Do a count of all items
  • Mark the name of the donation on the box
  • Place on a separate pallet
  • Make sure that these 'other' materials are noted on the paperwork, esp if not part of the donor's information.

Building a 13sq box for 78's:

  • the 13" square boxes are good, but need extra tape because the weight.

  • Use a cross tape pattern to ensure strength
  • fold bubble wrap so that it is 2 layers thick and place in the bottom of the box.
  • Load distributor boxes evenly in center of box.
  • place buffering materials around the distributor boxes to avoid damage.
  • Use cross taping to close box, leave the air space on top of distributor boxes.
  • draw an arrow to show the proper orientation of the box.

Preparing Boxes for Pickup:

Donation item:

  • Send donor information to Marc@archiveNOSPAM.org and cc Kelly@archiveNOSPAM.org so they can create a Donation item.
  • The donor can give less information if they want to, but we like to have as much as possible so they get recognition.
  • The Donation Item information should include donor name, address, photos, etc (as listed on the Donation Item page).
  • Storage Manager (marc@archiveNOSPAM.org) creates a Donation Item for the collection as soon as the donation is confirmed. The identifier of the Donation Item will later be entered into the box labels (see below).
  • Submit an acknowledgement that the donation was received (See the DonationLetter process).
Getting supplies delivered:
  • Email marc@archiveNOSPAM.org and cc: kelly@archiveNOSPAM.org with the approximate number of boxes and pallets going to Richmond or to a designated digitizer (currently George Blood in Philadelphia).
  • marc@archiveNOSPAM.org will send all the needed supplies to the donor's location unless instructed otherwise.
    • Supplies for Making Boxes
    • Supplies for Stacking Boxes on Pallets
    • if pallets will be going straight to the digitizer, then box labels and pallet labels will be needed, and staple gun will be needed for applying pallet labels. Here is the purchasing info for the staple gun: Staple gun and staples (Staple Gun should be of an industrial quality, of steel or aluminum construction, with a shape/configuration that matches the one pictured in the model. It should accept 3/4" staple cartridges. If model is unavailable, use this amazon search to locate and purchase another model that meets the above specifications)
    • PVC Paper for printing pallet labels. Current Model is Terraslate 4mil, 8.5" x 11" (Requirements for pallet label paper: laser printer ready, made of a composite PVC or TYVEK type weather-resistant material, 8.5" x 11" standard paper size)

If the boxes are going to Richmond, then we do not do the labeling, so skip this:

If the boxes are being sent straight to digitizer (such as George Blood Inc) then:


  • Once labels are printed, they will be shipped overnight to the donor, along with instructions for applying labels to boxes and to pallets, stacking boxes on pallets, and arranging for shipment as follows:
  • Pallet labels should be in affixed to the pallets as documented in Applying a Pallet Label.
  • Box labels should be applied to the boxes by the onsite IA representative or the donor as follows: 3 to a box, on two adjacent side corners and the adjacent top corner, as displayed in this photo.

Preparing pallets

  • if the pallet is going directly to the digitizer or any other non-IA location, affix the pallet label with the supplied pallet label (as documented in Applying a Pallet Label.)
  • The onsite IA representative or the donor should then follow these instructions to stack the boxes on a pallet:
    • Place boxes pallets as indicated on StackingBoxes.
    • Place flat heavy sheet of cardboard between each level, but not on top.
    • No more than 3 layers per pallet, so as to avoid crushing the lowest level boxes.
    • Stretchwrap the boxes together on the pallet to help keep the boxes stable for moving them around.
    • When the boxes have been labeled, stacked, palletized, and the pallets have been labeled and wrapped, they are ready to be shipped.
Setting up pickup
  • Email marc@archiveMOSPAMNOSPAM.org and sean@archiveNOSPAMNOSPAM.org to report that the pallets are now ready to be shipped.
  • Contact the donor to find out preferred pickup dates/times, specifics of location (including conditions of access at the location), and complete contact info.
  • In the email, include when the donor would prefer a pickup (in general we do not want delays because we want to make sure we get the donation)
  • When boxes are ready to be shipped, follow the FreightPickup process to arrange pickup.


IF a private residence/individual there are a series of concerns to get the material to the proper IA , GB or ARC location.

After getting full contact info, ask:

• Can the donor describe the items

genres – labels - formats

• How many of each format. Estimates OK, exact = better

LPs – 10” 78s – 12” 78s – 10” 78 albums – 12” 78 albums – cassettes –
7” singles - books –magazines – posters – video – DVDs - CDs
audio equipment

• Can you describe condition

• Are discs in sleeves

• Are they catalogued. What format or program. Digitized.

Look at the list of materials if available, and if seems necessary

• Has anyone gone through [cherrypicked/taken] any of the material since the list
was created.

• Are there time concerns – when is final date the material needs to be moved.

Once you know the above, and you’ve had a chance to evaluate the donor and the collection. and you want the material, ask:

• Can you help pack [send packing info link if necessary]

• Do you have any help to pack things up

• Can you easily allow a UPS drop off of materials and/or a UPS pickup

• Can you drop off at UPS or FedEx location

• If near an IA/ARC/GB location can you drop off

• Do you have a computer/printer if we sent labels

• Can you help load truck or van

• Describe the location

can a truck park easily – stairs – materials at street level or what floor – elevator building – doorman/concierge - driveway

Knowing this info will allow you to best determine how to organize the packing and the pickup/shipping.

Thorpe Collection Donation Item from Batavia Public Library

Tercat Collection Donation Item from Rhode Island about 77,000 78's. will go on approximately 32-40 pallets.


-- Bob George - 2016-08-03

Can I edit? "Supplies are all on green shelves at Florida Avenue" should be "Audio Preservation + Packing Supplies are all on green shelves at Florida Avenue" Should also be a Receiving heading in this doc, or a part of "on arrival". If a shared collection: ARC + IA • make sure you have contacted ARC + have paper/form explaining what is coming in + and have a short collection name for ID • Inspect the material for condition • Count the materials (we have loose guidelines as to how to do easily) as ARC does not issue a deed of gift for tax purposes unless we look at and count the material. • send this info to ARC • Call the donor to advise on arrival (I did this for tercat this am) + say great or discuss problems + offer fawning thank you's So, rethinking this Fred will have to at least do some inspection of Tercat.

-- Bob George - 2016-08-04

Handling 78s • 78s are VERY FRAGILE. • They are made from shellac, ie beetle (not Beatle) parts • never touch the surface (black face) of a 78, or any sound recording with your fingers. Fingers have oil, oil embeds dirt and dust. Support from the center and finders on the edge. • Do not pick up by the edges • Do not lift more than 10 at a time (about an 1.5" or so thick). • When removing from a large box of 78s, make sure that the bulk remains upright, as the weight of angled recording may cause breakage • Lift and set down carefully. Always place on a clean surface flat, padded preferred, when working on or re-sleeving. • ideally all unsleeved 78s are placed in a clean gold or white paper sleeve. • better recordings, or recordings with cardboard illustrated sleeves should be placed in a clear plastic archival 10" outer sleeves. NEXT: Dealing with 78s in booklet / albums.

-- Bob George - 2016-08-04

Topic attachments
I AttachmentSorted ascending History Action Size Date Who Comment
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JPEGjpg 0302171145_2_720.jpg r1 manage 294.3 K 2017-03-02 - 20:32 SeanFagan  
JPEGJPG IMG_1831.JPG r1 manage 92.9 K 2016-08-04 - 18:29 MarcWendt making a box for 78s step1
JPEGJPG IMG_1834.JPG r1 manage 92.4 K 2016-08-04 - 18:31 MarcWendt making a box for 78s step 2 cross taping
JPEGJPG IMG_1839.JPG r1 manage 111.7 K 2016-08-04 - 18:32 MarcWendt bubble wrap for making a box for 78s step 3
JPEGJPG IMG_1840.JPG r1 manage 120.2 K 2016-08-04 - 18:32 MarcWendt two sections of bubble wrap folded
JPEGJPG IMG_1841.JPG r1 manage 90.2 K 2016-08-04 - 18:33 MarcWendt making a box for 78s step 4 place bubble in bottom of box
JPEGJPG IMG_1842.JPG r1 manage 100.5 K 2016-08-04 - 18:35 MarcWendt place distributer boxes in center of box
JPEGJPG IMG_1846.JPG r1 manage 115.5 K 2016-08-04 - 18:35 MarcWendt place paper buffer around distributer boxes
JPEGJPG IMG_1851.JPG r1 manage 119.8 K 2016-08-04 - 19:19 MarcWendt cross tape the boxes to seal
JPEGJPG IMG_1852.JPG r1 manage 110.8 K 2016-08-04 - 19:20 MarcWendt cross tape example 2
JPEGJPG IMG_1853.JPG r1 manage 88.5 K 2016-08-04 - 19:21 MarcWendt draw an up arrow on the boxes before placing on the pallet
JPEGJPG sticker_location.JPG r1 manage 96.1 K 2016-11-15 - 20:07 MarcWendt demonstrates sticker location configuration
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