WJMD Radio, the college radio station of K college for 50+ years is entering a new era with a lot less vinyl records (about 53 boxes of them).
Faced with the fact that they needed to be moved out of the storage in the coming months (Rob Townsend in the recycling department had graciously let us use some of his space to store them, since early 2007, when our station’s renovation began) and more importantly, WJMD Radio was spending more time figuring where to store them, what to keep, rather than actually playing the music, it was time to move forth and do something with them.
Before going to storage, a few of the WJMD’ers had already gone through the collection (or at least most of it) once or twice to take out some records (we had space for about 5-6 boxes in the temporary station in the library) to play during the station’s renovation. These have been kept and will not be for sale. With the other 53 boxes, what we would do ?
Possible ideas that we had thrown around for the past year or two were:
- sorting all of it and then selling them on ebay (individually, or in small groups of 5-10).(this may have been more lucrative, but we simply don’t have the time or manpower to do this). More importantly, the records’ value is decreased tremendously because 95% or so of them have ‘WJMD’ written in marker on the cover and on the records itself.
- Converting them (or a portion) digitally, then choosing the above strategy. Again, this is a long, laborious process that we don’t have the time or manpower to do (I converted about a dozen of them, if that, over the years).
- Allowing alumni to ‘sponsor’ an individual record by paying $10 or so; using that money for the station to pay for outsourcing the digital conversion and/or more storage space.
A good mantra with media consumption and collection that should be repeated: You know that you have too much (or enough) media when you spend more resources (time and money) managing your collection than actually consuming (reading, listening, watching the media, or information directly related to the content about it).
We advertised on Craig’s list, the school campus, and flyers around downtown, WJMD Radio was letting everyone know that we were having a vinyl sale.
(we charged $2 each, $3 for 5, $15 for 20, or pricing in bulk).
we had about 50-60 people come throughout the day. After being moved around 2 or 3 times in the past couple years, the collection was largely unsorted, but that didn’t stop most cratediggers.
To the best of our knowledge, the WJMD vinyl collection never had been culled through in the past 30 years. Initially, I was a bit hesitant that alumni would be upset that the vinyl is going away. Granted, most of those records I never had the chance to listen to, even more, I’ve never heard of the artist on them.
At the end of Saturday, we sold about 14 boxes worth, made some money (which, is going to be put in our Account). In the coming weekends, we have additional sales, lowering the prices. After a couple weekends, we’ll give the rest away and giving to the art department for materials.
As the day went on, Griffin (another WJMD staffer who is in charge of the sale and much more knowledgeable about vinyl, and music in general, than me) and I talked to some buyers who gave us some recommendations on albums that they had purchased, and here’s a brief list of them.
East – East (1972, japanese psychadelic folk)
(only one I remember off the top of my head, Griffin has a list of the rest)
Pictures will be posted up soon. Let’s hope this weekend goes just as well.