Open Reel Tapes at IAS Audiovisual Archive


The Audiovisual Archive at the Institute of African Studies holds over 1500 open reel tapes containing unique recordings of music from Ghana and across the continent. Here’s a few images of unique reels from the collection on many different brands of magnetic tape dating back to the 1950s.

On our second day of digitization we hit a little bump in the road, the power went out at noon as we were preparing for a transfer. The Uninterruptible Power Supply protected the equipment and allowed us to complete the transfer of a recording of legendary Ghanaian comedian Bob Cole using battery power. Periodic brown outs are a common challenge to archiving in Ghana and after the battery ran out we took time to visually inspect some tapes to identify preservation problems and take these photographs.

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