How Do You Organize (Or Want To Organize) Your Record Collection?

Nathanu

VIP/Donor
Dec 14, 2020
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I have followed WBF for only a few years. While I am not a frequent contributor, I check the new posts often and appreciate the knowledge and experience of those who do contribute. Therefore, I am writing to seek your experience and guidance with respect to a question of organization. While I have not counted or inventoried my record albums, I estimate that I have 1,000 or more albums. I have them organized alphabetically by artist (or, in the case of classical music, sometimes by composer) within the following categories: (i) pop, blues and rock; (ii) jazz; and (iii) classical. Additionally, I set aside separate areas of my bookcases for large box sets and specialty pressings such as Classic Records Red Box, UHQR, Analogue Productions Box Sets, Mobile Fidelity One-Step, Supersense, ERC, and Test Pressings. I am subscribed to the new Analogue Production Atlantic Records 75 Series which perhaps could lend itself to yet another segregated area. The pop, blues and rock section is the largest section and, within that section, I incorporated alphabetical dividers.

I am not sure if this is the best way to organize my collection going forward. While it looks somewhat spiffy to arrange similar looking specialty albums together, the collection is becoming somewhat disjointed. I am having new shelving installed and would like to use this opportunity to consider how others have arranged their albums. I am thinking that I might eliminate the segregated sections for box sets and specialty pressings and incorporate and intermingle all albums alphabetically (including box sets and specialty pressings) within their respective genre categories.

How do you organize your albums and/or how would you want to organize your albums if you started over?

My apologies if there is already a thread on this subject; I only found that there is a thread on cataloging a record collection. That (i.e., cataloging) will be my next project.

Thank you in advance for your input and ideas.

Nathan
 
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hoytis

Member
Nov 9, 2022
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I use the same method as you - artists alphabetically within genres.... rock/pop, jazz, soul/R&B, World. Outside of that I have so many old mono jazz albums now that I separated those from main jazz. I have a dedicated cart for mono vinyl so it's nice to have them all in one place when the time comes to dig in. Other than that, I have do have another small grouping for jazz fusion. They get lost in the bigger mix so when the mood strikes I wanted them all together. Same goes for Japanese jazz. No real good reason to separate them other than just having a different vibe and tend to get lost in the larger group.

I don't think I'd change anything. It makes sense in my head. Important thing is to just find what you want when you want it.
 

Nathanu

VIP/Donor
Dec 14, 2020
36
54
173
I use the same method as you - artists alphabetically within genres.... rock/pop, jazz, soul/R&B, World. Outside of that I have so many old mono jazz albums now that I separated those from main jazz. I have a dedicated cart for mono vinyl so it's nice to have them all in one place when the time comes to dig in. Other than that, I have do have another small grouping for jazz fusion. They get lost in the bigger mix so when the mood strikes I wanted them all together. Same goes for Japanese jazz. No real good reason to separate them other than just having a different vibe and tend to get lost in the larger group.

I don't think I'd change anything. It makes sense in my head. Important thing is to just find what you want when you want it.
I love the idea of a separate section for mono albums. Thanks! Do you separate your box sets or do you incorporate them within your genre sections with other albums?
 

Tangram

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2022
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My organization system is close to yours (and, coincidentally, I have about the same number of records as you) but with a couple of twists. First, I have separate rock/pop, classical, and jazz sections. I file based on artist name but do so in the same manner that Discogs lists my collection - by first name! So Bowie is filed under “D,” and Zeppelin is filed under “L.” I don’t bother sorting beyond that. All the Bowie are together but not in any order - it’s easy enough to find what I’m looking for and isn’t as persnickety to file back after use. Box sets are in with the applicable artist.

There’s a couple of things I do that may or may not be of interest. First, my goal is to limit my collection size such that it fits entirely within the built-in shelves I have in my listening room. This means I am fairly ruthless with culling records I no longer care for. This includes making decisions on which version sounds best and (usually) keeping just the best one. This has been especially true when I’ve replaced recent reissues with original or early reissue copies (they almost always sound better to my ears.) The surplus records are banished to the “Annex,” which is an Ikea Kallax bookcase. When I have accumulated enough cast offs, I’ll rent a table at one or two of our local record shows and sell them.

Recoord collecting is my favorite aspect of the hobby, more so than the gear. So I tend to lavish attention on my vinyl, whether it’s cataloging, cleaning, organizing, upgrading, etc. And while I am trying to take a curated approach, beyond that I don’t give much thought to what happens to my collection once I’m gone.
 

Nathanu

VIP/Donor
Dec 14, 2020
36
54
173
My organization system is close to yours (and, coincidentally, I have about the same number of records as you) but with a couple of twists. First, I have separate rock/pop, classical, and jazz sections. I file based on artist name but do so in the same manner that Discogs lists my collection - by first name! So Bowie is filed under “D,” and Zeppelin is filed under “L.” I don’t bother sorting beyond that. All the Bowie are together but not in any order - it’s easy enough to find what I’m looking for and isn’t as persnickety to file back after use. Box sets are in with the applicable artist.

There’s a couple of things I do that may or may not be of interest. First, my goal is to limit my collection size such that it fits entirely within the built-in shelves I have in my listening room. This means I am fairly ruthless with culling records I no longer care for. This includes making decisions on which version sounds best and (usually) keeping just the best one. This has been especially true when I’ve replaced recent reissues with original or early reissue copies (they almost always sound better to my ears.) The surplus records are banished to the “Annex,” which is an Ikea Kallax bookcase. When I have accumulated enough cast offs, I’ll rent a table at one or two of our local record shows and sell them.

Recoord collecting is my favorite aspect of the hobby, more so than the gear. So I tend to lavish attention on my vinyl, whether it’s cataloging, cleaning, organizing, upgrading, etc. And while I am trying to take a curated approach, beyond that I don’t give much thought to what happens to my collection once I’m gone.
Thanks for the input. There are definitely many different ways to try to tame a beast of a collection. I cannot imagine dealing with thousands of records. my new shelving was just installed so now I will start to figure out how to organize. I think I will use your methodology for intermingling box sets other than those that are part of a series like UHQR. Using your examples, I also filed Led Zeppelin under L since it is not a person’s name. I filed Bowie under B since it is a person’s name. There is no right or wrong. I too do not try to order records from the same artist, instead filing at random with all records from that same artist.
 

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