Storing audio for long, long periods of time isn’t as easy as we once thought. For example, archivists have to deal with something called “tape rot”. A strange mold–a little white dust–can contaminate and destroy thousands and thousands of kilometres of magnetic audio and video tape that has been otherwise carefully stored.
It’s so virulent that if you get a speck on your finger from a contaminated tape and touch another tape, you’ve just pooched it. It’s become so bad that archives and libraries and around the world where tape is stored have implemented measures that wouldn’t be out of place in a Level 5 containment lab. No one is really sure where this mold came from, but damp weather seems to be a factor. More next time.