Offhand I can think of several reasons. Regarding items affixed to covers (e.g. date due slips, barcodes, etc.) or stamped/written on labels, this is fairly common practice. We do the same with books. With the proviso that every library is different and has different reasons for collecting (or discarding) what it does, very few if any collect recordings for the same reasons that many on this list collect. Indeed, unless it's one of the true sound archives around the country, most treat recordings as they would books, scores, and videos: they are just consumables to be used by the community of users that the library serves. A given item's collectability or rarity just doesn't play a factor in how they handle most items. Further, most (but not all) non-music librarians have no inherent interest in nor affinity for sound recordings per se, so they wouldn't know or even care that A Night In the Tropics is noteworthy in the collector's market.
As for removing the original covers, they might have been damaged in a flood (or perhaps were part of a gift that had spent time in someone's humid basement and therefore had mold problems). Since many of them were like this, that seems the most likely explanation. Some libraries will also transfer LPs to these kinds of jackets for easier circulation, or perhaps because they believe that the recordings will be better protected.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List on behalf of Roger Kulp
Sent: Sat 9/8/2012 8:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Can someone tell me why libraries did this?
Someone here mentioned the Atlantic Records Shakespere records recently.A couple of months ago,I found the "Romeo and Juliet" at Goodwill.This was part of a very large collection of records,from St.Johns College in Santa Fe.It looks like they had they had gotten rid of most of their records.Some,like the fairly collectible Marice Abravenel "A Night In The Tropics",first original stereo copy I have found,and a couple of private issue records by The Seattle Symphony Orchestra,have card pockets glued to the cover,that cannot be removed without damage.I can see that,but over half of the records there,had no covers.Instead,they had those blank album binders,that look like 78 albums,made of some kind of plasticized cardboard,made by Gaylord Brothers of Syracuse,and Stockton.Hundreds and hundreds of records like this,with the original covers gone.I only got four,because they were the first copies of these records that I had ever seen.The aforementioned
"Romeo and Juliet",MS 6464,with the Yardumian Symphony No.1 and Violin Concerto,with Ormandy,a 1960s Japanese Angel Lp of the 1938 "Pathetique",by Furtwangler,and CS 6578 with the Borodin and Tchaikovsky by Silvio Varviso and L'orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
I am guessing when the library acquired these records with the covers,but discarded them at some point.This is not the first time I have seen records like this,but I could never understand the rationale behind it.I know there are people here who have worked at libraries,so could someone tell me why this was done?