Archive recordings and the postal service

I am often sent recordings through the post - old cassettes, reels, CDs, etc, in response to my "lost plays" page. It's great to receive these, and to make sure that safety copies exist. Frequently they do not exist in the BBC archive.

However, before you do this, be warned. An article in the DAILY TELEGRAPH on 18th Feb, 2006, pointed out that packages which obviously contain CDs are frequently pilfered.

Stav Sherez, a journalist working in London who reviews CDs, is sent twenty per week. On average, only fifteen reach him. That means that a quarter of them are stolen.

If you send me recordings, please send copies. I do not want to be responsible for the loss of irreplaceable material. Also, when you send recordings, email me so I know they are on the way.

Four items I posted to friends last year never arrived. This year two items I posted (one to Emory, Houston, Texas) and one sent to me between Jan 15 and Jan 28 were lost. I collected some "missing items" forms from the Post Office but weighing up their complexity and my probable lifespan I decided against filling them in.

I guess it also helps if the shape and size of packages are disguised. Don't post CDs in cases - it's an instant giveaway.

Valuable material should always be sent by registered post or (in the case of airmail), "Airsure", where each item is individually tracked, electronically.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Duplicate package sent to Emory, Houston, Texas, 25 Feb 06 - LOST
Third attempt- another package sent 10 Mar 06, Airsure - arrived 17 Mar.

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