Your recent posts couldn't be more timely for me! I recently joined this list hoping to get some "clues" about what to do with the 200,000+ recordings (33, 78, 8-track, cassette, reel-to-reel, CD, laservision, etc...), plus catalogs, books and magazines, that have been left for "us" to deal with when my 86-year old father died, unexpectedly, last month. I know he always meant to tell us his plans and to make appropriate arrangements, but it somehow never happened. We now are left trying to figure out what all is there, how it's organized, and who might be interested. He "collected" for over 80 years, and we know everything was important (at least to him) for one reason or another. This is a huge task for the family, and we are struggling to do what we think he would have wanted us to do. Most of the materials are in his home and my mother can barely walk from room to room. He had way more stuff than space.
We have recently contacted some of the organizations we know he had talked with, but there are large chunks of the collection where we are clueless. If you have any suggestions, we would be most appreciative. We are open to all reasonable avenues - libraries, museums, reputable auctioneers, etc... It appears most of the collection is classical (including opera) with a fair amount, also, of "big band."
And, to those of you who collect, please don't wait - write out your plans NOW. My daughter took a video of my parent's house when she was home over the Winter holiday. My dad followed her around but not once did he say, "and this stack over here is ...." If nothing else, have someone take a video of your collection and point out the items that are most important to you, or describe how they are organized, or mention why you have them. If your family members are not as "into" the collecting as you are, they will be grateful - when the time comes.
Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions any of you may have.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List on behalf of Karl Miller
Sent: Wed 6/17/2009 11:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Virgin Sacrifice
--- On Wed, 6/17/09, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
***Since we can't take either one with us, it might be more merciful on those we leave behind to leave a single computer drive and iPod vs. a house of moldy things to be disposed of. On the other hand, if it's a house full of minty Black Pattys, Shaded Dogs and McIntosh amplifiers, perhaps the survivors will forgive the clutter as the cash rolls in from selling it! But this isn't usually the case. I think there are guys on this list who appraise giant piles of shellac and vinyl all the time and will report how worthless many acres of this stuff is, so mainly it's a burden on those left behind unless they share the love of the stuff or own a carting business.
Tom, your words have great meaning for me. I hope to retire soon and we are thinking that it might be a good idea to downsize and sell the house. Indeed, I wish it were all on a computer drive. Many of my friends who are collectors are reaching the age of retirement. None of us really have any sense of what to do with the stuff. How much can you revisit when you might have ten or twenty years, at best, left? While collecting can be an end unto itself, I find that as I age, that rationale has less meaning.
Sadly, so few libraries are interested in recordings. So indeed, what do you do with the stuff. You certainly don't want to leave it for those who remain to dispose of it. I just hope that I live long enough to get rid of it all.
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