Guest Blog Post written by Ellen Goodwin, Co-Founder & CSO of Artifcts
Last month I sat down with my dad, Jim Bowker, a proud member of the Baby Boomer generation who happens to have a deep love for music and a vinyl record collection to prove it! We had one goal: Begin putting his vinyl collection back into use after nearly two decades in storage. Enjoy the nostalgia and the practical “how to” reclaim that record collection in the modern age.
“There’s no way. There are so many!” he exclaimed when asked to select a few favorite vinyl albums from among the hundreds in his personal collection to move out of storage and put back into play.
“Obviously the Beatles, George Harrison, Neil Young, the Stones …” he went on as he flipped through the albums before settling on the few he considered “seminal records.”
He said that each record—with famous melodies, jaw-dropping guitar solos, and powerful lyrics—was a direct tie to that time when he bought the album, the concerts where he heard the music live, and the people he enjoyed the music with.
During his high school days, as music transitioned from 45s to long-playing 12” records, he’d head into downtown Aurora, IL to listen to the latest albums at Cook’s Hi-Fi. Ironic that today you can buy the latest hits on vinyl again, a nostalgic resurgence, but maybe also one that is favoring a certain quality in music, “The sound from vinyl records is deeper and warmer than CDs or digital formats,” he asserted.
Now in his 70s and contemplating a future that will include him and my mother downsizing from our family home of more than 40 years, he said categorically that the music would make the move. “I’ll buy a new piece of furniture for the records and a player for them. Music has shaped so much of who I am today.”
Until moving day arrives, my dad needed to pick from hundreds to select a few to keep close at hand for daily doses of the music he loves best. Vinyl records are great, but they are more fragile and take up more space than their modern digital cousins. Over the years, the albums had been put into storage in an unused bedroom as shelf space was taken over by another of his favorite collections: books. (Books can tell you a lot about a person, too, of course.)
So, we were moving a few albums to a beautiful archival box with a clever peek-a-boo window because he does not yet have that new piece of furniture. His criteria for the few albums he’d start with was some internal balance of emotional connection and what the musicians did to transform not just music but the world.
“I could fill several album boxes without any trouble,” he remarked. “But these will do for the moment.”
Which albums would make the cut for you? Something old and something new? No cutting, keeping them all? If you need a hand as you sort through and move them around, pop over to Archival Methods and check out these vinyl record storage boxes for your own collection and make it simple to enjoy the music you’re looking for and keep those records safe.
Check out this related blog post: Introducing the Ultimate Vinyl Record Storage Box
Ellen Goodwin is co-founder of Artifcts, a patented web- and app-based platform that allows members to preserve their history, tell their story, and build their legacy, one object at a time. She is mother to a newly-minted teen, wife to a cyclist (and a cyclist herself), and lover of books, travel, and attempts at beautifying her home and garden. Prior to founding Artifcts, Ellen managed strategic partnerships and client relations for a global data technology company. She and her co-founder, Heather Nickerson, met while working at the US Central Intelligence Agency.