Monday, January 12, 2009

Record-Rama Archives

(updated March 1, 2015)

Record-Rama had been a record store in Pittsburg USA for a few decades. The proprietor Paul Mawhinney has collected the largest vinyl record archive in the world. Now the store is closed and he is trying to sell that archive.
He wants to sell it as a whole collection and wants it preserved that way. His minimum price is $3 million. I say it's worth it. 1.5 million 45s dating from 1948, and a million LPs. This is not store stock, but saved copies of every record he ever dealt with. His aim was to have every single by every artist, and he published his list in his MusicMaster catalog. It probably contains every release by any favorite artist you can think of.
I think the best use would be to make the records accessible to reissue companies and to broadcasters so that anything could be made available to listeners.
He is at the same time clearing out what remains of his store stock. That is arranged thru his website and is a big-time proposition involving a minimum $5,000 purchase.
His store was a mecca for collectors of obscure rare vinyl, and I hope this music will be preserved.

A video on this can be seen at the Vimeo site:
The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

The first edition of the MusicMaster catalog in 1982 came in two volumes, one by title and one by artist. It illustrates what he had in the archive at that time. Click to view larger.

Mawhinney's website is

Sale of the collection
The collection has been sold to a Brazilian buyer named Zero Freitas as of December 2012, who plans a museum. This has been announced by The New York Times, CNN Money, and others.