I agree that this is a worthy panel topic. I think the panel should focus on facts rather than
anecdotes and, as such, I doubt it could be formed up in that short period. Maybe next ARSC?
Whomever runs the panel (and I am definitely NOT volunteering) should know something about estate
law. There should also be someone involved who can discuss this from the archive/institution side.
What makes a collection something worth considering when is it too much work to take on? Someone
like Steve Smolian, who appraises collections, might also want to be involved. Many collectors tell
their relatives about how "valuable" things are without knowing or revealing true marketplace facts.
Then, when they die, their heirs have unrealistic ideas about a collection's worth. Bottom line is,
most records and tapes are pretty much worthless and much analog equipment has very low value. So
few people will deal with selling things a dollar-item at a time. From the institutional side, it
would be neat to have someone tell the story of how they integrated a collection. I saw just such a
presentation at the Rochester ARSC Conference from the college that got the Joe Tarsia/Sigma Sound
tape library. I think if member-collectors saw a collection being made available to the public, they
might work harder to get their truly valuable items spoken for before it's too late.
One other thought on this topic -- a collector's perspective and plans are likely to change over
time. The longer we live, the more likely we are to out-live most if not all interest in our
collections. I think the key thing is to keep a realistic perspective on the value of what we have,
actual monetary value to someone with no sentimental attachment to the items, and act accordingly.
Don't stick someone we care about with a massive pile of junk that will cost them much time and
money to get rid of.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cary Ginell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr
> My wife knows the value of my collection, both historical as well as intrinsic, but we are torn as
> to whether to auction or donate, and if the latter, to whom and when? It would be a shame to find
> oneself in Mr. Barr's situation where desperation often invites wholesale dumping just to get rid
> of it all.
> This subject needs to be addressed in a panel discussion at the next ARSC conference. If anyone
> would like to form a panel and draft a proposal, it would be welcomed. I'm program chair for the
> 2014 conference and believe that this is a major concern for all ARSC members and should be
> discussed. Who would like to take up the challenge? The deadline for submitting proposals is fast
> approached (January 6).
> Cary Ginell
> On Dec 3, 2013, at 7:07 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> It's a real issue, and we should all mark Tom's words. I have bought
>> collections and particpated in clean-outs for relatives and others, and
>> believe me, the real enemy of the great collection is the dumpster. That
>> is where a lot of them go. My goal is to skinny down what I have while I
>> am alive, and then leave some kind of list or markings of what is really
>> valuable. To the non-collectors in our families who have tolerated our
>> collections for years, it is usually all junk to be got rid of.
>> John Haley
>> On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM, eugene hayhoe <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> I, when I walk into my basement, feel like 'what a lucky guy.' My wife,
>>> OTOH, goes 'OMG!' and mostly won't even come down here.
>>> The concern I have is finding the spot where 'she gets the most value' and
>>> 'the recordings, etc. end up in the right places' meet - most dealers have
>>> personal financial interests, and the moving 'would not be a quick, casual
>>> job.' I've suggested more than once that she 'hire someone to open a
>>> temporary store' as the best way to liquidate, but she doesn't display much
>>> enthusiasm, despite the quite profitable nature of that idea. One friend
>>> could be interested in some, but has his own space issues of the same
>>> nature. As a retired college faculty member, I wouldn't trust much of any
>>> school to 'use them appropriately.'
>>> I've also told her that 'if Koester is still around when that time comes,
>>> he'd probably be interested.'
>>> And in NO way is that a dis; only spoke to him once, but 'have been
>>> appreciating his efforts in preserving American music for over 45 years.'
>>> On Tue, 12/3/13, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 8:03 AM
>>> One lesson that can be learned is
>>> that we who collect should explore, while we are healthy,
>>> vital and with full faculties, who might want to inherit our
>>> collections. Is there an institution or archive we trust,
>>> and is interested? Another collector? Would we like to
>>> pre-arrange an auction with an expert in the topic areas
>>> where we focus our collection? Don't assume spouses or
>>> children or friends know or care about your collection,
>>> unless you have included them in it and they have expressed
>>> Having inherited a few collections of records and vintage
>>> audio gear, I will say that it is never an easy process
>>> because of the bulk, logistics, storage and other issues.
>>> There is always expense and time-burden put on the person
>>> taking over the collection, so make sure that person wants
>>> the collection enough to put in the time and put up the
>>> money. In my case, it helped very much in the cases where
>>> the collection was well-documented. It also helped that two
>>> of the collections had been introduced to me gradually, with
>>> detailed explaination from the original owners. In fact I
>>> treasure those times, with people I respected and cared for
>>> explaining something they loved and about which they knew a
>>> great deal, more than I treasure the actual items.
>>> In the other cases, it was "hey I know you like this kind of
>>> stuff and we need to clean out XX's house so we can sell it,
>>> if you'll come and take it away you can have it." In those
>>> cases, I was much more likely to sell off pieces in order to
>>> cover my logistics and storage expenses, very soon after
>>> taking possession. I do not regret any of those sales,
>>> because some very nice items passed into hands that
>>> appreciate and use them today. In these cases, I have passed
>>> back all other sales proceeds to the people generous enough
>>> to call me rather than put stuff in the dumpster or turn it
>>> over to an estate-sale hack to get pennies on the dollar of
>>> the true values. Net-net, I ended up keeping fewer items
>>> from these collections, but it's nice to have those things.
>>> The final case I've been involved in was my friend, 10 years
>>> my junior, who died suddenly earlier this year. His father
>>> needed help assessing his house-full of audio gear, tapes
>>> and records, and finding buyers for what had monetary value
>>> and takers for the rest. We managed to get 90% of it sold
>>> and given away, and the rest really was dumpster junk. I
>>> bought some equipment items, which I am happy to have, and
>>> his father gave me his records and tapes, which I am very
>>> pleased to have and will remind me of my good friend gone
>>> too soon.
>>> The point of this is, if you care about what happens to your
>>> collection when you're gone, you need to be proactive. The
>>> best time to be proactive is when you have the energy and
>>> the presence of mind to do it, ie not at the very end. You
>>> can't take it with you, and you must assume that no one else
>>> values it and nothing good will happen to it unless you make
>>> preparations and enlist allies who will outlive you.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "eugene hayhoe" <[log in to unmask]
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 7:26 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr
>>>> All that work collecting and organizing for naught? A
>>> shame. Hope they ended up with 'someone who appreciates what
>>> they have.'
>>>> On Mon, 12/2/13, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Date: Monday, December 2, 2013, 9:00 PM
>>>> David Lennick is your best bet,
>>>> however I'm not sure he has the info either. I don't
>>>> there is an e-mail address because the reason he
>>>> posting on 78L was because he didn't have a computer.
>>> He may
>>>> well be out of reach. I understand his records have
>>>> liquidated to cover debts owing.
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> On Dec 2, 2013, at 8:43 PM, David Seubert <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Anybody heard from Steve Barr lately and have a
>>>> contact email? The
>>>>> email I have for him bounces.