music

Over 3 Million Records Need New Home in NYC as Archive Struggles With Rising Rent

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Vinyls may have come back in style but a New York City archive with a collection of over 3 million records is struggling to look for another place to call home.

Located on White Street in Tribeca, one of Manhattan's most expensive neighborhoods, the Archive of Contemporary Music has five months to pack one of the largest collection of records in the world, the New York Times first reported.

The archive has been part of New York City's history since 1985 and it has been at the location for the last 20 years.

Most people may not know of the massive collection, which was co-founded by Robert John George, because it is not open to the public but people in the music and entertainment industry frequent the non-profit's library.

"I had 47,000 records and wanted to give them away to somebody and nobody was interested," George tells NBC New York, recalling how it all began 35 years ago.

Keith Richards and Paul Simon are among the archive's board of advisors, as well as filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who has worked with George to find scores for his movies.

Beside ceiling-high shelves of records, the archive also has over 750,000 CDs. With help of interns and volunteers, they work to digitize everything but George says it's important to keep all the formats.

"We don't know what's going to last. Is the physical going to outlast the digital? We don't know," he said.

"We basically try to make sure that music is there when it's needed. A lot of the record companies have moved, they've had theft, they've lost material," George explained.

Copyright NBC New York
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