Best Ways to Organize a Classical Record LP Collection ?


Need advice and recommendations from AudioGon Classical LP Aficionados.

I recently acquired a large 30+ box Classical LP collection.
Feeling a little overwhelmed. :^( 
Organizing Classical music is different from other genres.

Do you organize by Composer, their Work, the Performer, the Label, other .... ?

Can you please share your experiences, ideas, the pros and cons you found with each method. 

I am hoping your information will help me to decide which method will work best for me. 

Thanks 

Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128ct0517
In my own case it is by label (+ one section for misc. labels), and then by approx. date of composition: baroque, classical, romantic, modern, etc. I keep vocal, opera separate. If I had fewer records it would just be by date of composition.
I do it a little differently.  First, by composer, then symphonies, then major works (requiems, for example), then piano concertos, then other concertos by instrument, then sonatas by instrument, then chamber music and then smaller works.  I am intrigued by Melm's chronological organization, as it's fun to think of a work in the context of what part of a composer's life a work appeared.  Now that I think of it, in my non-classical collection, I organize by artist chronologically.  The main consideration, I think, is pick a system that will allow you to find what you're looking for.  That's especially challenging for classical, where one recording may contain works by several composers.
I first put together label ->performing artist->title(consisting of composer and name of piece or opus). Most of my Deutsche Grammophon records start with "K" -- Kubelik, Karajan and some of them with "B" Bohm :-)


Label than a to z i have over 5 thousand.
ebm, which A to Z you sort?
If Ansermet conducts Brahms what letter will that be?
Composer, composition, Label, artist.

Opera in separate section, as does vocal centered around 1 artist

Records w/ various composers w/ 1 artist, I put in so called Collection section. So say Van Cliburn plays romantic Favorites goes under V.

Repeat works or more than 1 composition by the same artist then goes chronologically based on release date w/in the label. So-

Beethoven Symphonies -Karajan 1st cycle goes before 2nd cycle.
Or, La Boheme on Decca (London) - Mono Tebaldi goes before Stereo Tebaldi goes before Freni, Pavarotti.
I sort of agree with elee - 

I have my music divided into four groups, Orchestral, Vocal, Chamber, and solo (or two) piano music. In each group I sub-divide as needed for what ever is appropriate to me, for example  usually by composer/performer/label, but for solo piano I have two seperate sub groups, one for performers (i.e. I love Moravec so I have all of his music filed under his name) but more often filed by composer and I have them filed in the order of my personal performance preference.

To me it makes sense for you, having such a large collection to sort through, would be just to file them by composer. Then as you become more familiar with the actual recordings themselves where/how you want to file them should become evident.

What fun you should have.......:-)




I have a collection of about 3,000 classical LPs.  They are generally ordered chronologically by when composed.  Hence, medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, etc. Bach before Haydn before Mozart before Beethoven, etc. Vocal and opera recordings are segregated from instrumental but are also arranged chronologically.

 Recordings by the same composer are ordered: symphonies and other large orchestral works; concerti; chamber works; solo instruments.  It's far from perfect, but I can usually find what I'm looking for very quickly.
What I’ve done is to first sort into the following categories, and then within each category by composer, or by the composer of either the major work or the work that is of greatest interest to me in the case of recordings having works by multiple composers. One reason I chose this methodology is simply that in my case it happens to work out nicely with respect to the available shelving. The categories are:

-- Analog mastered recordings on labels which usually provide exceptionally good sound quality (e.g., Astrée, Harmonia Mundi, Chesky, Wilson Audio, Pierre Verany, some EMI, RCA Japan, etc.).

There are a number of past threads here providing discussions of the best sounding classical labels. Search posts by member Rushton in particular.

-- Digitally mastered recordings on labels which usually provide very good to excellent sound quality (e.g., Telarc).

-- Recordings on labels which usually provide good but not exceptional sound quality (e.g., Philips, London, Argo).

-- Historical recordings from the mono era (e.g., Toscanini)

-- Most others.

-- Recordings that are in questionable condition, or worse.

Enjoy! Regards,
-- Al

I have far more "Classical" (the term originally identified a time period and composition form or style, approximately the mid-18th century through almost mid-19th, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. You can see TV clips from the 1950s, in which what is now called Classical was then referred to as "serious"---as opposed to Pop---or "longhair"---a pre-Beatles term!---music) CDs than LPs, both organized the same: Alphabetically by composer, then alpha by composition title (The Rite of Spring, for instance) or form (concerto, sonata, symphony, etc.), then alpha by conductor (no offense to orchestra members implicate!). Collections are at the end, also alpha by either the performer (if appropriate) or period (Baroque, say). After the music, I have the overtly audiophile label recordings (Reference, Sheffield, Wilson) and audiophile re-issue label pressings (Chesky, Classic Records), alpha then numeric. 
Great info ! Very helpful.
So far I am reading that members are organizing. Not in any order.

By Label first, then Alphabetic (Composer or Performer)....
By Composer first, then Performer, with the label later ?
By an Organizational Category first, then Composer (Alpha)  
The chronological by date method sounds very interesting.

So is it true ? 

Filing By Label and release catalog number - You are an LP collector
File by Composer / Performer - You are more of a music lover.

This is the situation I am dealing with. A partial view of what I (and my wife) sees. 

https://goo.gl/photos/RcrVBfh656gh5XKt9

The records are temporarily in the front part of our house including the room where you enter. :^(   I am being asked (pressured) to move them. The numerous treasures I am finding is really slowing me down as I stand there and admire these records, losing focus. I tend to go onto the internet to read about them. This really slows down the process. I hate filing. I love listening. To see my existing main room is to see records (2k?) and cds, many all over the place, (not including files on the Western drive). I just know where everything is. This is no longer the case.  
  
I had some but not a lot of mono recordings before. I may now need to acquire a mono cartridge sometime in the future as I have come across a number of mono recordings i.e. Budapest String Quartet.

Bdp24

You can see TV clips from the 1950s, in which what is now called Classical was then referred to as "serious"---as opposed to Pop---or "longhair"---a pre-Beatles term!---music)

8^)

Bdp24 - having being born in the 60's, my LP collection is mixed, but mostly longhaired. 

The Classical - Serious were always an honored guest with a dedicated spot, but still a minority group.  But they are about to take over in that space - the pressure on me to get them there may make it look more like a hostile takeover.  

As we know with classical, the records need to be in good shape due to the large swing in dynamics. A noisy record, a well played lp can ruin the experience. I had been listening to a lot of recently acquired over the winter, classical on digital lately. It was sounding great   "soul resetting great". I happened to be looking for a good condition Symphony I was enjoying in LP format,  when by chance, replied to this ad for selling of a collection.  When I asked if he had that LP his answer was   "probably".  

 

Hi Almarg, 

I found your comment that "Decca, Argo provides good but not exceptional sound"  an interesting one.  

Arthur Salvatore posts on his blog.  

Most of the very best orchestral and (especially) opera recordings I have ever heard are from the Decca label, but their overall sonics are very variable. This is in contrast with their rival EMI, which are more uniformly excellent (though not reaching the highest standards of Decca).

The EMI's I have heard so far are excellent.

Here is Rushton's thread where the different label qualities are discussed.  

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/classical-record-labels-and-recording-engineers

I hope to be able to contribute to it in the future.  

I brought along the original post from Rushton's thread along with a few others that I had printed off,  "BUT", when I got there and fell into the honey;  it all went out the window as I flipped through the records in the boxes - my mind became a blur. It was like I could no longer read.  Having gone there to find one or two records, I initially came home with a box and based on those threads DECCA was big on my hit list. After a couple of hours home it dawned on me, what I was leaving behind ....next thing I know they are all in my house. The person I met was selling the records for a 75 year old audiophile/music lover who was moving to a condo. He had been collecting them for 30 years. Feel honored to have been given this incredible music opportunity.
Hi Ct0517,

Note that I referred to London rather than Decca. While as you no doubt realize London was the label under which for many decades Decca recordings were released in the USA (I see you are in Canada, btw), IME Londons tend to be somewhat more of a mixed bag, perhaps due in part to the varied provenance of their pressings. Also, many of the Londons I have were digitally mastered during the early days of digital (the 1980s), as well as in the days of increasingly common use of heavy multi-mic’ing, and I would definitely not place those recordings in the "great" category.

If and when you find London/Decca recordings engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson, however, who retired from Decca in 1980, consider them to have an excellent chance of being sonic masterpieces.

Enjoy! Regards,
-- Al

Ct, my perspective is different since I'm not greatly knowledgable about classical music plus my collection is much smaller than what many others seem to own.
 
One local friend has nearly 10,000 LPs and well over half are classical.  He organizes his alphabetically by label and then by serial number.  That would be useless for me but seems to work fine for him.  So I was a little surprised to see others here utilize similar systems.

All of my approximately 3,000 LPs are alphabetical, first by musical category, then by artist.  The exception is within classical where they are by composer.  Within composer I group by type - concerto, symphony, etc.  This has proven to be the simplest system and so works for me.

I think that everyone should organize by importance.
For some artist is the most important which means collection is to be sorted by artist alphabetically or per goven label if label is also important.
I don't have large classical catalogue. It might be around 6...700 records total. My favorite artists and frequently listenable records are separate. 

My two cents on this - really the only reason to organize by label would be if you consider yourself more of a collector, or if you are more interested in the sonics of a recording than the performance.  

As a professional musician, the concept of organizing by label is a little bizarre, as I am first and foremost interested in the performance.  I organize by composer, then by genre, then chronologically within each genre.  I do keep multi-composer albums separate, and those are organized by Orchestral, Choral, Chamber Music, etc.  Soloist albums are organized by instrument, and alphabetical by soloist.   

If you are a big time collector, though, then organizing by label would make perfect sense, as you could just file it by the catalog number.  You also don't have to put near as much thought into it if you go that route.  
Man ct, it's gonna take you years to listen to them all! A nice problem to have. I was getting so many promos and other free albums when I was a Tower buyer that I couldn't listen to them all before the next batch came in (weekly). I finally now am able to listen to those unheard albums in my remaining years, hearing new music on a daily basis. So much music, so little time! I have resorted to prioritizing; surely I need to hear the Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart (substitute your own taste here) pieces that I have yet to before that of other, lesser (to me) composers. And then there's the new Pop (Rock 'n' Roll, Bluegrass, Singer/Songwriter) and improved reissues of old favorites (The Beach Boys, The Band) and previously unissued historical material (Dylan) to keep up with. I just feel blessed to have been born (this time ;-) when recordings exist. How fortunate we are!
Pryso
Ct, my perspective is different since I’m not greatly knowledgeable about classical music plus my collection is much smaller than what many others seem to own.


Hi Pryso I was exposed to classical through playing the trombone - Grade school, Jr High and High School. I think this is also where my strong bias for bass comes from. But if those teachers found out I could not name classical works today if my life depended on it, they would give me a detention for a month. Love listening to it but don’t ask me who and what except for the really popular works. Opera really gets to me. I start singing - well more like howling. I don’t speak or understand Italian or German. Marriage Tip - let your wife catch you in one of these moments. She will get confused, maybe a little worried. You will gain leverage.

Learsfool
My two cents on this - really the only reason to organize by label would be if you consider yourself more of a collector, or if you are more interested in the sonics of a recording than the performance.


Yes I agree with that. By bringing these records in whether I like it or not - I have become a sort of collector. I will never get to them all.
One thing for sure. Buy vinyl off of collectors. They were never played. Music Lover lps will probably be worn out and noisy.

Learsfool
As a professional musician, the concept of organizing by label is a little bizarre, as I am first and foremost interested in the performance.


True Story

I was discussing these works. Click on this link and you hear the sample tracks.

http://ultraanaloguerecordings.com/wpsite/sample-tracks/

with a musician and an audiophile. Both of them who happen to post here on AudioGon. I won’t say who they are - :^)
And they don’t know this part either or probably don’t remember their comments to me through email.

Cds were sent to both.
The "Audiophile" loved the music and the sonics.
The "musician" thought their performances were just ok, no other comments were given on the sonics.


almarg - If and when you find London/Decca recordings engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson, however, who retired from Decca in 1980, consider them to have an excellent chance of being sonic masterpieces.


Thanks Al - I will be on the lookout for this. I have found some EMI Japanese recordings and other lps I have pulled that look really unique some really old - 1940 ! Most of the pressing are from England, Germany, Holland. The ones from Canada seem to be from Montreal. Some US, French pressings, other countries as well.

a couple I like

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RUGGIERO-RICCI-LP-Paganini-Violin-Co-2-Decca-Gold-LabeL-DL-710106-NM-SHRINK-...

http://classicrecords.co.uk/product/emi-asd-3255-haydn-cello-concertos-in-d-c-rostropovich-asmf/


Bdp24 - Man ct, it’s gonna take you years to listen to them all!

yeah I already had enough music to last more than my life time and I knew what it was, and sort of knew....where it was located. kind of a ridiculous chaos right now. Just high level sorting just to see what is what - I have been pulling 7 -10 lps a day at random and listening to them. If really good and I like I put them aside. Doing searches on Ikea Expedite’s ....
Found 5 or 6 copies of 1812 Overture so far. These lps are like trying to find a good clean copy of Supertramp’s Even in the Quietest Moments LP. Hard to find a quiet one - played too many times. Fun lp  
Nice problem to have, CT.

I have two special sections for 45RPM, audiophile / favourite recordings, 100 or so that I don't want to lose track of, everything else is roughly chronological, with blocks for baroque trumpet, etc.

terry9
Nice problem to have...


Hi terry9

I guess it depends on your viewpoint.

Some reading this thread would think I have lost my mind - especially those who are all digital. They would probably pay someone to take these away. btw - if you are like this and have good records pls contact me :^)

Then there is the music professional who provides music lessons to students and is not an audiophile. He / she 'could maybe" also see these records as a royal PITA. fwiw - I have listened to my fraternal twins daughter on a 1957 Heintzman, and her brother on an acoustic guitar for about 12 ? years. No two performances by either of them were ever the same.

Myself, these records right now, are keeping me from preparing my tax documents for the accountant. And I am expecting a good refund. 

Some of these records although in great shape and worth quite a bit from internet searches, sound like the music is coming from cans. Regardless of label they are being placed aside for investment or to offer for sale later. I have no use for them. Maybe ebm being the collector would be interested ?
  
The ones that get my endorphins flowing are put in another row - regardless of label. I will not let a record that looks in good shape go without listening to it first myself.

For some reason this light fixture in this one room shows up markings on records really well and helps me determine if they are worthy for cleaning.
I have bought used records that looked mint and when seen through this light, well..... its like the mirrors in your house. You know there is one that shows you good, and then that other one that make you look really really bad.
terry9
I have two special sections for 45RPM, audiophile / favourite recordings, 100 or so that I don't want to lose track of, everything else is roughly chronological, with blocks for baroque trumpet, etc.
cool.
I've always had about four rows of records laid out near my listening chair against the wall within easy reach. I don't like looking for records in a bookcase. Prefer flipping through them. Every month about 10 get added to these rows depending on mood from the bookcase, until it gets a little much, and a reminder to file some away. These classical records have made this long standing system obsolete. My DAC has not been used for a week. Shelving arrives this week.

In contrast to long haired music :^),  the actual performances becoming much more important now as I hear and concentrate on different city orchestras/conductors. If the good ones are on a clean disc and mastered well. Music Orgy time. Too much great music to list.

Some Baroque I really like. 

https://www.discogs.com/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-English-Concert-The-Trevor-Pinnock-Konzerte-F%C3%BCr-C...

Label
Archiv Produktion ‎– 2533 466

Couple Surprise finds.

An I Luv you DAD - Promotional (local retail and other companies) Album cover containing inside - Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Lp - Made in England Purple Label.

Wizard of OZ LP.    :^) 


Ooh ct, Trevor Pinnock is one of my favorite performers. I have a bunch by him; if you ever see any of his CRD LP's (UK label), get 'em. Lots of solo harpsichord of Bach, Scarlatti, etc. in incredibly high sound quality recordings.
Is anyone using one of these websites/software to catalog organize their LP collection ?

Collectorz.com

http://www.collectorz.com/music/?from=google&keyword=music%20collector%20pro&gclid=CO3c4MuX-...

KIX

http://www.kixsoftware.com/

Any other sites that you have used ?
thanks for any info. 

Discogs

https://www.discogs.com/

I have looked up album info on Discogs a lot. But have always just entered album info manually. I could just do this in an Excel spreadsheet. Is there any software that would allow me to scan the album label with my phone, it grabs the info and puts it into a database direct ?

Also, outside of those records that you keep in special areas i.e. frequent plays, the Chronological Idea that a few have mentioned here is sounding good to me.


I organize by composer's birthday. That way I have a progression that goes by music period *and* composer simultaneously--renaissance, baroque, rococo, classical, romantic, impressionist, 20th century, and contemporary.
The only problem is the collections that might have multiple composers or even artists as well. For those I have a separate block of albums generally organized alphabetically by primary artist.
Yes, definitely organize by birth year of the composer. That way you can get a visual feel of the progression of centuries of music, and understand which composers wrote during the same period, and which ones influenced those who were born later. Here is the way classical.net broadly divides things:

Medieval - 11th though 14th Centuries
Early Renaissance - 15th Century
High Renaissance - 16th Century
Early Baroque - Late 16th and 17th Centuries
High Baroque - Late 17th and Early 18th Centuries
Classical/Romantic - Late 18th Century
Romantic - Early 19th Century
Romantic/Modern - Late 19th Century
Modern - 20th Century


In each composer section, I subdivide by opus numbers, chronologically. When that is not feasible, I keep all the symphonies of that composer together, all his string quartets together, and so on.

If you have a violin record with four composers on it, what do you do then? You can either put it in with your favorite composer on the LP, or you can have a section of records at the end or beginning of your shelving devoted to particular instruments. Piano, clarinet, guitar, what have you.

Operas you can have in a separate section or not.

Filing alphabetically is the lazy man's way, essentially pointless except for convenience. Is there really any sense in having Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner next to each other, when what they primarily have in common is the letter B?

Filing by label is valid if you collect by label and when music is not your main concern. But why have to go to dozens of different sections to find all your Beethoven?

Enjoy your new collection!
I had my CDs organized by birth of composer and my son (when he was around 10) reorganized them by the color of the spine of the jewel case, which essentially means they were organized by label regardless of period, performers, or composer. It was a daunting task but I eventually got them reorganized by composer date of birth.
Very helpful posts - thanks.

Hi Johnnyb53

I had my CDs organized by birth of composer and my son (when he was around 10) reorganized them by the color of the spine of the jewel case, which essentially means they were organized by label regardless of period, performers, or composer. It was a daunting task but I eventually got them reorganized by composer date of birth.

That is quite a feat for a 10 year old. Imagine how you would of felt if he did that with your records and was manhandling them. I have the boxes on two floors now away from view. I am going to need more shelving !
I am trying to decide between the ease of flipping through the records (much preferred) over storing albums like books in the shelving. The many box sets are not a problem this way, but the singles; I know they just won't get played as much this way with me. They become archived and then lost. I want to see the whole album face when flipping through it. I think now my wife doing me a favor by pulling the Deutsche Grammophon singles, and filing almost two boxes was a mistake :^(

**********************************

Hi Paulparsons - you said something that hit home with me. (btw - welcome to AudioGon as a poster)

Yes, definitely organize by birth year of the composer. That way you can get a visual feel of the progression of centuries of music, and understand which composers wrote during the same period, and which ones influenced those who were born later.

.....

Filing alphabetically is the lazy man's way, essentially pointless except for convenience. Is there really any sense in having Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner next to each other, when what they primarily have in common is the letter B?

Filing by label is valid if you collect by label and when music is not your main concern. But why have to go to dozens of different sections to find all your Beethoven?


I have always been the type to listen to whole records regardless of genre. I want to get to know the music and artists and feel at times, the music that doesn't get air play, is many times the best stuff. So I feel the extra effort to do this would in the end bring me a lot more actual music enjoyment and learning enjoyment; getting to know the Composers and as you said, seeing how those that came later were influenced by those before.
Thanks for links in your post. So I went to the website source and copied and pasted the referenced composer list into a spreadsheet.

Holy Moly, 1100 friggin Composer entries !!!

***************************************************

Bdp24 - Was thinking some more about what you said earlier about Longhair.

You can see TV clips from the 1950s, in which what is now called Classical was then referred to as "serious"---as opposed to Pop---or "longhair"---a pre-Beatles term!---music)

I'm not so sure about this Longhair comment.  

The Beatles.

http://verygoodmusic.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/bands_the_beatles.jpg

Beethoven

http://assets.classicfm.com/2009/04/ludwig-van-beethoven-1233160023.jpg

Bach

http://cp91279.biography.com/1000509261001/1000509261001_1707045537001_BIO-Biography-17-Composers-Jo...

So who has the longer hair?   What is it about those B's ? 

Ha! I watched the documentary Anderson Cooper did on his Mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Her second husband was conductor Leopold Stokowski, and there were some pics of him on stage, hair flying all over the place. I think that look was very common amongst conductors in the first half of the 20th Century, and may be where the term came from.

Paul Parsons, what makes sense in having Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner next to each other on a shelf is the same as for having Count Basie in between The Band and The Beach Boys---I know where to find what it is I find myself wanting to listen to. My shelves are for storing, not for chronicling the progression of musical styles through history. I find myself wanting to hear a particular composer or composition, not a period in time or genre in general. To each his own!

oh oh ...I am getting a funny feeling about this......
The thread appears to be taking on, dare I say it.....audiophile attributes.
But with opinions that show real logic behind them. You guys are making this difficult.

The smell of vinyl has permeated that side of the house's main floor. I think its causing some hallucinations. Maybe its because I'm allergic to mold.

I think, deep down, my subconscious is making me want to make up for being a bad music theory student. Make my past teachers proud. So I printed this off

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d4/c8/9e/d4c89ead18950e7594d30e2f0ed3edda.jpg

and stuck it on the large bookcase just installed.
It made me feel ....good.
Definitely not as extensive as Paul Parsons list. This one at least gives a glimmer of hope. Small steps.....

But those B's really make it easy to start doing this alphabetically, don't they. And I have to admit. Those previously mentioned Deutsche Grammophon lps; those shiny yellow gleaming (though thin) lps, pulled earlier, now are temporarily together and taking up two slots in the bookcase; they look kinda cool with the sun hitting them. 
How ........tube like....... how audiophile !

Sundays Surprise Find.

The Sound of Jazz - 1958 Columbia Six Eye.

http://www.popculturesignatures.com/bihocobaauts.html

No not mine. My copy is in much better shape; but it is not signed by Billie Holiday and Count Basie :^(

Mono cartridge, well lack thereof, rears its head again. So how many records does it take to warrant getting one?    
need more coffee.
CT- right. I think you have to ask what your purpose in organizing is. Is it so you, as the present owner of these records, can find them easily? Or are you interested in working at the Library of Congress? I get curation, and Paul is no doubt correct insofar as musical history is concerned, but it would seem you’ll be spending more time curating than listening. I reorganized about 12k records a while ago, while getting rid of several thousand and eventually adding quite a few more. With classical, which is only part of the mix, I segregated some by label- EMI ASD, Lyrita, Decca/London, RCA doggie and Mercury Living Presence; I then alphabetized a large quantity (by composer)- say 20 linear feet; I also set aside one shelf for typical audiophile warhorses, and another for what I consider to be banal audiophile crap, which includes some direct to disc, not limited to classical. This, obviously, has nothing to do with the rock/pop or blues/jazz/folk (which are organized alphabetically, except where some have been segregated by label). That still leaves me with thousands of records that have yet to be organized in any meaningful way, from old MHS and DG to mid-’80s Euro-pop. It’s sort of triage, in my view.
I organized the stuff I was most interested in listening to, or was readily identifiable and it’s still taken years. Electronically cataloging with meta-data- a whole other thing. I like the fact that something like Discogs is basically already ’populated’ with the data (right or wrong), so you merely have to add the item to your collection, but are there similar "populated" databases that comprehensively address classical music? (I think of Discogs more for pop). Creating a database, with deep metadata from scratch, would be a huge endeavor.

PS: Paul- welcome to the madhouse! 
Hi Whart - thanks for your thought provoking post.

"as the present owner of these records"

a profound thought....indeed these records will out live me. Does everyone have a plan for their records ?

Some answers to your questions and where I am at. And oops long post - got away on me ..sorry. Have made lots of progress. This thread has really helped to make me put in focus those things I need to be aware of in how these records were produced, since classical is so different than that of other genres. This has saved me time. And time is the most important thing. Also the good weather is here, and what is in the garage is calling me too.

Whart - Is it so you, as the present owner of these records, can find them easily?

YES


Whart - Or are you interested in working at the Library of Congress?


:^) ...lol.... Congress ? As a Canadian if I hadn’t watched Netflix’s House of Cards over the winter (talk about addiction) I would be a little confused by this.

I was actually thinking about this "Library" the other day.
Never worked in a library before but, I think I now know what it must have felt like to deal with returned books !
I have found Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Bach to name a few - in probably 15 + different boxes each. This is where I am at and what I have managed to do so far.

Pre-sorting.
First I had to get the records out of view. So I split up the boxes into two groups upstairs and downstairs. Shelving added to each floor up and down.
fwiw - After many years my wife banished me to our basement which for good audio plays out really well, so I don’t mind.
I have two music rooms set up adjacent to one another downstairs - can be seen in my virtual page. The main room always had shelving. I added shelving to room 2. That makes three with the shelving upstairs.

Whart
I get curation, and Paul is no doubt correct insofar as musical history is concerned, but it would seem you’ll be spending more time curating than listening. I reorganized about 12k records a while ago, while getting rid of several thousand and eventually adding quite a few more. With classical, which is only part of the mix, I segregated some by label- EMI ASD, Lyrita, Decca/London, RCA doggie and Mercury Living Presence;

I then alphabetized a large quantity (by composer)- say 20 linear feet; I also set aside one shelf for typical audiophile warhorses, and another for what I consider to be banal audiophile crap, which includes some direct to disc, not limited to classical.

Good info. I really like this word curation.
So the first sort had to be alphabetical in order to bring the composers together in two locations. This excludes special labels which have just found their way together. They look nice together. I do still like the idea of sorting by history / birth dates, later if I choose, if I ever get there.

The collection itself.
There is some organization for off genre non-classical that I found, but for the classical - No such luck, all over the place. The two sets of boxes upstairs/downstairs have mostly been sorted and filed into the two locations. This part is complete. Now the next sort should bring the Composers from two locations together into one.

I am aware and coming across, the album types that people have mentioned here that I needed to deal with. This was really helpful as it made me look out for them and not get frustrated. Like records with one Conductor and multiple composers; and Artists (i.e .piano player Perahia / Lupu ) with one & multiple composers on a record.

Some specialty categories I have found together include Organ related albums, Flamenco, Classical Guitar, Scott Joplin/Ragtime, Big Band,
There are enough of these lps - a box each, that I can now say I collect them. lol.
A large opera grouping more than I will ever need. fwiw I am located near Toronto where I was born. The city’s Little Italy is world famous. If I choose to unload some opera later there is a big web demand for it here from those that grew up with this music playing in the house.

I think the fellow coordinating the records for the elderly owner grabbed the Jazz as I have only come across a few. :^(
The great part is as I continue to plow through, I pull 6 or 7 interesting looking lps each day, and listen to them at end of day, many unknown labels from USSR - Russian, Czechoslovakian, etc...
With all the records, googling the label plus some album info brings up discogs or ebay. I copy and paste the info into an excel spreadsheet to which I color code the title to tell me how I liked the performance, quality condition of the vinyl, and the mastering job (does the music explode out from the grooves).
The good records / performances are coded green and are filed in the first bookcase in the main listening room so I can find them. The others are filed right now alphabetically in the other bookcase downstairs. Doing the spreadsheet is important as it is helping me learn the music. Composer, Work, Conductor, City orchestra, etc...

Have a full box of this music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc

I like....

Also found a few Janis Joplin lps. Being born in the 60’s, I know of her and the music - meaning I know to hear it on the radio; but never actually bought any albums myself. So I did some digging.

http://static.robbreport.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2015Sep/1681506//janis-joplin-porsc...

I like....
This Columbia High Fidelity recording is scientifically designed to play with the high quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or old.
If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play even more brilliant true to life fidelity. In short you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future.

How cool is that ?
Library of Congress number R59 - 1499 applies to this record.
Label number ML 5443.
I do it by Pictures... bright, dark, sunny, art and of course, stampers.
Syntax - did you forget to include a classical album pic with your post ?

Here is ML5443 from my previous post, this one happens to be a Canadian pressing.

http://www.audiophileusa.com/covers400/123501.jpg

And here is a good stamper movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDduaWNX2fo

From the movie.

Rainbow Records started at >>> 6k - 8k pieces per day.
They grew in the 60’s >>> 30 - 40k pieces per day.
The Heyday after Elvis’ death. >>> 60k pieces per day.
Late 80’s >>> 8-10k pieces per day.
Today (2008) >>> 25 k pieces per day.


Here is a link I stumbled upon for the Angel records catalog.

http://www.papageno1.com/angel/

It can be easily dumped into your file choice and then searched by whatever criteria you wish. It is sorted by label number. Thanks to Geno who is listed on the site and made this info available. Once on the site there is also a link for the Great Recordings of the Century records.

This is the record I was looking for when I found this.

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/371269825076-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

This is new music for me. I don't know of Benjamin Britten/Simon Rattle.

Well done record.
Came across this interesting album. I somehow found it in the common section of albums on the floor, to be listened to. I think it was from my original personal stash, not the acquired collection, but they are all one now anyways. Found it very interesting so wanted to share.

Milhaud*, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch – La Création Du Monde - Suite Provençale

https://www.discogs.com/Milhaud-Boston-Symphony-Orchestra-Charles-Munch-La-Cr%C3%A9ation-Du-Monde-Su...

Mine happens to be a Canadian pressing from Montreal.

I found the music very unique. it was recorded on an old RCA Living Stereo label in excellent condition. So I looked it up and found some interesting info.

On a trip to the United States in 1922, Darius Milhaud heard "authentic" jazz for the first time, on the streets of Harlem, which left a great impact on his musical outlook. The following year, he completed his composition La création du monde (The Creation of the World), using ideas and idioms from jazz, cast as a ballet in six continuous dance scenes

The jazz pianist Dave Brubeck became one of Milhaud’s most famous students when Brubeck furthered his music studies at Mills College in the late 1940s


taken from here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_Milhaud



Been offline for a while. The records are now sorted to a level that they can be found. I think. Probably about as easy as finding my tools - which are not that easy to find. Why can I never find the Phillips screw drivers / bits when I need them ?

Couple more recent albums played that I found interesting. Please feel free to share any interesting Composer works. CD or LP. I will see if I have them in this LP collection. This would be a good test of my sorting. If I don’t have them, I will make a note of them, as I have been kind of banned from bringing in more records - for a while anyway.

****************************************

An interesting listen to yet another Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture - this time a Phase 4 Stereo version from my old stash. It’s amazing what I am finding I had in my old stash. Just more aware of it I guess.

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49; The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a / Robert Sharples Conducting The London Festival Orchestra And Band [London Phase 4 Stereo]

Here is a youtube

part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwX8oMgqhXg

part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emRjWTHcdwE

And a review of this Phase 4 process by Endless Groove.

http://www.endlessgroove.com/issue4/lp4s.htm

Whether this Phase 4 is a gimmick or not - this album was very enjoyable.

***************************************************

Gustav Holst - The Planets

http://classicrecords.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2532019.jpg

A cool sounding name for music work ?

Deutsche Grammophon
Berliner Philarmoniker Herbert von Karajan
2532019 Deutsche Grammophon

Gustav Holst was a trombone player. He had neuritis in his right arm so when conducting he used his left hand.
Changing of his name from Von Holst to Holst - why ?

In 1918, as the war neared its end, Holst finally had the prospect of a job that offered him the chance to serve. The music section of the YMCA’s education department needed volunteers to work with British troops stationed in Europe awaiting demobilisation. Morley College and St Paul’s Girls’ School offered him a year’s leave of absence, but there remained one obstacle: the YMCA felt that his surname looked too German to be acceptable in such a role. He formally changed "von Holst" to "Holst" by deed poll in September 1918. He was appointed as the YMCA’s musical organiser for the Near East, based in Salonica


taken from here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Holst

Holst, in his forties, suddenly found himself in demand. The New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra vied to be the first to play The Planets in the US.


******************************************

Georg Friedrich Handel
Wassermusik Water Music (Complete).
Deutsche Grammophon 138799


https://www.discogs.com/Georg-Friedrich-H%C3%A4ndel-Rafael-Kubelik-Berliner-Philharmoniker-Wassermus...

Why is this called water music ? Well I had no idea so I checked it out a few days ago.

The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often published as three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I, had requested a concert on the River Thames.


So now I know.

Also interesting.

The Water Music is scored for a relatively large orchestra, making it suitable for outdoor performance. Some of the music is also preserved in arrangement for a smaller orchestra; this version is not suitable for outdoor performance, as the sound of stringed instruments does not carry well in the open air.


The thread has discussed organization by alphabetical, chronologicaL, label.

What about Autobiographical ?

https://youtu.be/AQvOnDlql5g

:^)

Vinyl LP Insurance

This is proving more difficult. Learning that insuring vinyl is proving difficult with my insurance company. My policy has a decent limit for cd, tape, lps. But proving I own them is the difficult part. I have been told its not enough for me to take pictures and catalog them. They want to see a professional appraisal, but, they can't even recommend anyone to me.  They know of no one. 

An independent search of those that do this service, I found out they charge $60 an hour. So if your collection is in the thousands ........

The insurance company is checking into this for more options. if anyone has been through this already, would appreciate some ideas.


Some Records for Sale :^)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5ziBCarxEk
Whichever way you like is best. 💡
Hi Mapman

Sure - this is why the thread title is "Best Ways"
The others here have provided their input on what worked best for them. I can’t tell you and the others how much this helped me - time is priceless and the suggestions have saved me a ton of time.
Would like to know what method worked best for your classical record collection if you want to share.  

Cheers
Classical .... by composer.

Jazz ... by instrument ... except for the West Coast jazz groups and big bands. They  have their own sections. 
Jazz ... by instrument? That would drive me crazy. Bags & Trane - which instrument? 
Mingus Big Band - West Coast, Big Band or Bass(or piano for that matter)? LOL, different strokes...

Jazz, Rock, Folk, anything but classical, soundtracks and compilations all are easiest to sort by Artist or Primary Artist. 

Classical frustrates me, know matter how I organize, it isn't great thanks to some albums having a common thread of composer/orchestra/soloist/genre/label. No matter which way I sort, a few LPs manage to hide in the shadows when I hunt for them. At the end of the day I choose to alphabetize based on the main thing that makes me think of that album, so most Bach goes under B, "Best Military Marches" under M and "Soundtrack to Amadeus" under A.

Multi-field database sorting is one the primary joys of digital music. IMHE, it's good news that digital playback is getting so much better than it has been until recently. Cheers,
Spencer