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Washing Music Library LPs

Friday, January 23, 2009

Librarian Anne Shelley brought down a box of soon to be digitized LPs with the request that we clean them. We were happy to do so, as it would give us a chance to make sure that our dish drainer could convert itself into an LP drying rack. I set up the sink with two trays, one with water and a bit of photoflo for washing and a second “water only tray” for rinsing. I removed the LPs from their jackets and swabbed the labels to make sure that none would run in the water–only two seemed ready to run. I then quickly dipped the LPs in the wash, brushing them gently with a soft (tsukemawashibake) brush, one that we normally use for paste linings. I then propped them on the drying rack, perfectly sized for an LP, and let them dry for a short period. Next, I brushed them dry with a microfiber brush designed for vinyl records. Each record then got slipped back into its cover, with a new polyethelene sleeve for protection. This should remove any dust and greasy fingerprints from the surface that might otherwise interfere with the digitization.