Hi Cary, David, Mike Gray, etc:
The more we talk about this, I think this topic is important enough for an article or on-going
series of briefs in the ARSC Journal. Maybe something akin to the copyright-law briefs. Estate law
changes all the time, which is why I think a one-shot article may not be as useful. However, an
article could cover issues from the collector perspective (how to figure out what to donate and what
to leave out as flotsum and jetsum; how to find a willing recipient; how to bring family members or
friends into the process; how to deal with an estate attorney probably not expert in your
collection; etc). It's also probably worth discussing, the differences between a true collection
(which I would argue is something that has been curated by a collector with expertise in the subject
area, is somewhat focused and contains at least some rare/valuable items in excellent condition) vs
an accumulation (which is self-described but what, in my experience, many call a "collection").
I wish I knew more about the legal issues and the institutional perspectives on the topics we're
raising. It would definitely help my own planning, and I think it would be a great service to ARSC
members, in some cases more than justifying membership.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Seubert" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr
> Hi Cary,
> I agree that this would be an important session. I think that somebody
> from an institution on the curatorial side should be on the panel, but I
> also think somebody from an institutional major gifts office should be on
> the panel. Perhaps UNC has somebody on staff that could appear? Our
> position is vacant now, but typically our person is a lawyer who can
> actually help donors write bequest language and weigh tax benefits. There
> can be significant tax benefits to donors that I don't think are well
> understood. My example is that a dealer might pay ten cents on the dollar
> for a collection (and probably cherry pick), while a tax deduction would
> net a donor 20 cents on the dollar if the donor is in a 20% tax bracket.
> That's real money, not just good will.
> I also think a dealer and a collector should be on the panel though I'm
> not sure who would be willing.
> This is more common than some probably realize. David Lennick also lost
> much of his collection two years ago in a "storage wars" type situation. I
> think all the 78s found homes, but I think his master tapes got sold for
> the scrap value of the flanges.
> If I can help in any way, let me know.
> David Seubert
> Head, Special Collections (Acting)
> UC Santa Barbara Library
> University of California
> Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
> Tel: 805-893-5444
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cary Ginell
> Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 7:18 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 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]>
>>> 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
>>> 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 interest.
>>> 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
>>> -- 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
>>>> 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.