When it comes to archives of physical media, it’s hard to argue with the resources that radio stations and other broadcasters have. Listen to enough DJs discuss the literal records and CDs they have on hand at a station like WFMU or WPRB — to cite just two examples — is to get a sense of the history and culture available to these institutions. But sometimes, a broadcaster winds up with multiple copies of a single recording. What happens when a station’s archives have duplicate copies?
One answer to that question can be found at Omega Auctions, which is currently auctioning off a staggeringly huge collection of LPs from the BBC’s collection. As noted by NME‘s reporting on the auction, this doesn’t mean the BBC is nixing their record collection — far from it. “[T]his does not constitute the entirety of the BBC’s vinyl archive which is very much still intact,” the auction house wrote on social media earlier this week. “This is largely the duplicate copies of LPs — so that collection can be moved and better stored for the future.”
That begs the question: what, exactly, is in the BBC vinyl auction, which is tantalizingly described as “Sale One” on Omega Auctions’ website? To start, there’s a collection of 11 LPs from the iconic Stax label. (Current bid: just over $200.) Not surprisingly, demand is high for a pair of early Pink Floyd LPs, where the bidding has risen to almost $590, as of this writing. More esoteric work is also represented in the auction, as is the case with this album from jazz guitarist Derek Bailey. (Current bidding has the price up to just more than $150.)
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It’s also worth pointing out that the auction is focused on vinyl, but isn’t limited to it. Buyers also have the option to purchase things like a vintage stopwatch, a stylish mid-century ashtray and a sword. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own vintage radio station, this auction might just be your gateway into the world of broadcasting.
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