THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Inspired by... blog

07 October 2013

Inspired by... vinyl records

Did you know that the British Library has over 240,000 LPs? I doubt you even know that we have vinyl records. Our collection is an absolute treasure trove for vinyl junkies, music lovers and creatives. BBC Radio presenter Tom Ravenscroft said "If ever there's a nuclear war I'm coming here [to the British Library] with a portable record deck." Lauren Laverne, I bet you’ve never broadcast your show from a library – can we be the first?

Despite the advent of digital recording, vinyl records and their covers retain the power to inspire those in the creative industries, from artists to film makers, musicians and graphic designers. So we’re hosting another Inspired by… show and tell event for creatives to find out more about our enormous collections (in the past we’ve featured maps, zines, artists books and prints and drawings).

Andy Linehan, the Library’s Curator of Popular Music, looks at the history of the album and digs into our archive to bring out a selection of rare and iconic LPs. Click here for more information and to book – it’s FREE!  

One guy who knows our vinyl collection well is Darrel Sheinman, founder of Kings Cross-based Gearbox Records. He regularly uses the Library’s music collection to research the history of musical outputs, whether it has been released before, and the ability to licence. He uses our Listening Service to play records. (As a Reader, you can hear any item from our archive of published and unpublished music recordings using this service.)

Darrel has been able to source interesting pieces of music and compile sleeve notes, recording dates and places. This has helped to develop the label, bringing many hidden treasures in jazz and blues to the attention of the public.

He could not have done this research without the Library’s collection and help from staff, Darrel says, “The support is very personal and the knowledge is deep as to where all the references are. For such a big library, this is impressive.”

The titles below were released by Gearbox Records using British Library resources.

Joe-Harriott-Quintet

The-Tubby-Hayes-Band

The-Ronnie-Scott-Quintet


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