Vinyl LP storage may seem like an anachronism in the compact disc and MP3 era.But long-playing, LP record albums have been valuable enough collectibles since well before the compact disc era, depending on the performers and the music, the origin of the album’s release, the year the music was first recorded, even the illustrator who did the jacket art, to name just a few factors. I know of some instances where the record album jacket has the value not the vinyl LP itself.
Since the compact disc supplanted the LP, though there continue to be a small volume of releases offered in LP form, many more vinyl LPs have become valuable collectibles as well. As often as not, however, those who collect them or never cared to dispense with them keep them for reasons having little to nothing to do with collectible value. Whether for collectibles, sentiment, or simply personal preference, vinyl LP storage and preservation is imperative to such collectors, and there are several ways to do this.
To assure that these vinyl LPs remain in good condition, in terms of both the record itself and the original album jacket and inner sleeve, there are several ways you can store and preserve them. If you visit stores that sell used albums, for example, you may have noticed that most if not all the items for sale sit in their original jackets with the jackets themselves sitting in clear vinyl record sleeves. Many of these stores will sell those vinyl sleeves to collectors as well and they are not ordinarily very expensive.
There are also a large number of storage items made specifically for storing LPs. Vinyl LP storage boxes of the kind that were made in the years of vinyl records remain available through numerous outlets such as Amazon.com, eBay, and other auction sites or collectible outlets. These boxes customarily held up to twenty LPs in or out of their jackets, but they will not damage your records if you keep them in their original jackets and vinyl record sleeves.
For a very long time crates were popular for LP storage, and many collectors continue to use them. However, Gothic Cabinet Craft now makes and sells a number of well-made, pleasant-looking cases, from open single cubes fitted for 12-inch albums and their jackets at $49 to six-shelf, eighteen-12-inch-section towers at $149.
When researching vinyl LP storage, collectors should also consider one more important detail for preserving and storing those vintage Lp albums—the original inner sleeves may have faded or simply fallen apart from age, if they were strictly the paper kind. You can replace those sleeves with special sleeves in which the inside is lined with cellophane or thin vinyl, or with strictly cellophane or thin vinyl record sleeves.
One of the important things to consider is that, you as the album collector should not ignore your prized record albums. Whether they get stored in a box or cabinet of some form, even shelves can be used to display portions of your collection. Take action because I regret not following through when I wish I had known better. I mentioned in another article that I had my prized vinyl LPs in an apple box by the furnace in the basement. I forgot to mention they were stored every which way in either the top or bottom half of an apple box covered with a piece of newspaper.