Open Reel Tapes at IAS Audiovisual Archive

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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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