Bill Blair, music and media librarian at the University of Victoria, pulls out a record from the university’s LP collection. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

University of Victoria holds a collection of 20,000 LP records, even after massive auction

More than 5,000 records were auctioned off to make room for more media options

While the University of Victoria’s media collection is becoming modernized to meet the needs of 3D printing engineers and virtual reality programmers, one of its older collections is also growing in popularity.

The UVic Library’s LP collection holds more than 20,000 records which have been gathered since the 1960s – and that’s after more than 5,900 records were recently auctioned off.

In the past couple months music and media librarian Bill Blair pared down the collection in an effort to save space as the collection moves within the library. Last week, records were sold off in lots of 350 to 450 records through B.C. Auctions, with funds raised going back into the library.

ALSO READ: Vinyl lovers celebrate Record Store Day in Victoria

“What I didn’t want to keep would be mainly material that we had CD recordings of, or that we have access to on streaming databases such as Beethoven,” Blair said.

What remains in the collection are records from patrons, community members and the occasional university buys including a large jazz collection, Canadian music, classical music and a collection of spoken word and plays. Blair added that more popular music choices, such as classic rock albums, often end up in bad condition.

“We had things like AC/DC at first, but they got worn out really fast, and even the album covers were falling apart,” Blair said.

Things that can’t be sold have often been donated.

UVic has two separate storage spaces for the LPs, one that is easily accessible on the ground floor and one that can be accessed by staff if a request is put in, a setup which is currently based on the record’s accession number. Soon, however, Blair hopes to reorder the records to have the most popular choices on the ground floor.

ALSO READ: Quirky returns, decades overdue items keep things interesting at Greater Victoria libraries

In addition to the LPs, the UVic Library also has more than 20,000 CDs, though their popularity is going down as technology to play them becomes less and less available.

“I would say the LPs are really growing in popularity,” said Karen Avery, supervisor of music and media at the UVic Library. “Right now CDs are taken out more, but LPs are coming back.”

The library also offers record players for people to use if they want to have a listen.

For anyone feeling extra nostalgic the library also has a large collection of VHS tapes and VCRs in their media labs for people to borrow and use.

It also offers hundreds of other (and more modern) pieces of equipment, ranging from Macbooks, mice, PlayStations, tripods, headphones, projectors, virtual reality goggles, GoPros and more.

The best part? The collection is available to the entire community, not just students or alumni. Anyone is eligible to ask for a community card to take out books, records and more.

For more information visit uvic.ca/library/borrowing.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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Bill Blair, music and media librarian at the University of Victoria, in front of the university’s CD collection. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

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