Parnassus Blog

Monday, July 02, 2007

The great Catskill fork-lift fiasco: Update

"The great Catskill fork-lift fiasco" update--July 2, 2007

As described in my "Surface Noise" column for the Summer 2007 Classic Record Collector, the crew from Brigham Young University arrived in the Catskills right on schedule. They immediately set to work sorting through the cargo container full of records with great energy and, I thought, remarkable fortitude. While the two students who came with David Day did take a couple of days off to see New York City, David worked every day for two weeks, and the two students continued their efforts for another week. One of them also turned to be fluent in Russian and translated for me the contents of a box of Melodiya LPs I had acquired which were labelled entirely in Russian.

David reluctantly had to discard some of the 78s, which were multiple copies of common sets. (He estimated he dumped at least 20 copies of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto with Horowitz and Toscanini!) Still, more than 90% of the 78s are now in Utah, where the music library staff faces an incredibly daunting task of cataloging them all. I even managed to sort through some of the LPs and pass on to BYU several cartons of LPs.

By coincidence, just before the BYU Crew arrived, I was offered a collection of 20,000 LPs by a part time dealer across the river from me whose parents had decided it was time for them to reclaim their garage. I skimmed through them and could easily tell it wasn't a collection for me, and that I couldn't buy them. But I e-mailed David and he said he'd be interested in them. We paid my regular trucker to pick up the records, and they were added to the BYU shipment.

As of now, I still haven't a very good idea of what is in my newly-sorted LPs. But I do know that their numbers are more substantial than I had feared they might be, about 40,000 LPs. And while most of them, as with most LPs collections, aren't of interest, I've been finding some extremely interesting material, ranging from early chamber music records in good condition to sealed copies of some recent "audiophile" repressings of early stereo LPs. I'm going to be working on this collection for quite a while!

Labels: , ,