NY Public Library Selling 22,000 Vinyl LPs for $1 Each

Friday, August 09, 2013 - 05:07 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of vinyl-record aficionados descended on the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on Friday for a rare sale of LPs from the library's collection.

The three-day sale of 22,000 records started Thursday. It's intended to clear out space and to raise money for future acquisitions and for preserving the library's collection, curator Jonathan Hiam said.

The sale is the first of its kind since 1984, Hiam said. All the albums for sale are duplicates of others owned by the library, which is at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. All are priced to sell at $1, even boxed sets.

Bradley Coufal was among 70 people waiting in line before Friday's sale started.

"I just like am an avid dollar bin record seeker," Coufal said. "When I heard there were 22,000 records I was excited."

Inside, the records were packed into boxes in no particular order, here the soundtrack of the movie "New York, New York," there Joan Sutherland singing a Bellini opera. Classical music predominated, but jazz, show tunes and other genres were represented.

Donald Cleveland, a reissue producer, was looking for specific album covers that he could photograph for CD or digital reissues.

"I've found a few items," Cleveland said. "A Brazilian piece, a couple of soundtracks, a blues album - none of which I was looking for but I'm happy nonetheless."

Buyers said CDs and MP3s can't compare with the sound of vinyl.

"Not listening to records is like not drinking wine," said Brian Belott, a visual artist shopping for "Mozart, Bach, Hindemith, Poulenc."

Eli Zimmerman, a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Opera, examined a recording by pianist Artur Schnabel but rejected it as too scratched.

Plenty of other LPs went into a box at his feet.

"Yesterday I bought 30, 40 records," Zimmerman said. "Today I'll probably buy about the same. And I'll try to sneak them under cover of night so that my wife doesn't see that I have gotten more records. I obviously have a record addiction."



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Comments [6]

Zulema Seligsohn from Bronx, NY

The sale may have been featured on the BBC, but it was not in the NYT or so small and hidden I missed it.

Aug. 19 2013 09:53 PM
Anonymous from NYC

Kenneth Bennett Lane: Are you a Wagnerian heldentenor?

Aug. 11 2013 04:20 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Without a doubt there must have been many recordings of great performances not yet if ever to be transferred to other formats. No matter what one concludes the fact remains that the vinyl on its own cannot sustain the rough wear of CDs and DVDs and other formats wherein wear will be a factor in appreciating the original performance. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor with recordings made in 4 solo concerts at Carnegie Hall and in Europe and am ever hopeful that technology continues to be more sophisticated to widen the audience for all music formats.

Aug. 10 2013 05:18 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

This is a bargain at twice the price. I wish I could be there. This sale was even featured on the BBC News.

Aug. 10 2013 09:10 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

This is a bargain at twice the price. I wish I could be there. This sale was even featured on the BBC News.

Aug. 10 2013 09:10 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

In homage to the late, great Lloyd Moss: "this article certainly puts a new spin to comments made on the record."

Aug. 10 2013 06:14 AM

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