Gerrard GT 10

My 90 year old in laws are downsizing.  They have offered me their turntable, which probably hasn’t been used since 1990.  I’m not a vinylista, but I do have a Project Phono pre amp with usb output, and I have identified a few albums in a local resale shop that have never been digitalized that I would like to hear.  First step would be to just play the albums, then I may try to record them to a flash to transfer to my Melco NAS.
  I’ve been warned that the belt may be rotted out at that vintage, and I wouldn’t risk the stylus on any vinyl, so I am contemplating a decent but not to expensive mm cartridge, and that, along with any other useful advice, is what I seek to find here.  Any thoughts?
These albums aren’t available as downloads.  I wouldn’t be going through the trouble it it weren’t for the tt suddenly being gifted.  Thanks for the pointers
There is no disgrace in being purely digital. If I did not have so many albums I probably would not get started with it. It is an expensive PITA and is seen by many as a badge of honor. It is amazing that it can sound as good as it does but I have no problem with hi res downloads. The only downside is it is too easy for me to over-spend my welcome:-)
I have discovered a few albums that were old favorites which are not available and are in a nearby resale shop ( Joshua Rifkin’s Scott Joplin series, some Bach from Karl Ristenpart—in general it seems the Nonesuch catalog is in a state of limbo)

Joshua Rifkin complete discography

Karl Ristenpart complete discography

You can look for CDs searching on discogs and you can buy right there if you will find what you need.

True it's a lot of work to make LP tracks that sound better than digital. I pretty much rip only stuff that has never been publicly done.
Like Lani Hall. But after all the work Herb released the first three a coupla years back.
You might run into that - good luck.