The World's Largest Record Collection

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Paul Mawhinney, is the owner of the World's largest record collection with an astonishing 3 million records with some so rare they cannot be found anywhere else in the World. Appraised at an astounding $50 Million dollars worth of musical history he is only asking for a paltry $3 Million for the whole collection! However, after trying to sell the collection on eBay and getting takin' for a ride by fake bidders he has decided to sell them to only serious buyers through other means. With deteriorating health due to diabetes as a main factor forcing him to sell his collection no one has yet stepped up to take them off his hands.

A direct quote from his site listing one of the reason for selling his collection:

As the soundtrack of our lives, a unique audio history of the 20th century, the collection is too special–too important–to be sold to just anybody. It needs to be preserved. It needs a suitable and fitting home.

It's sad to see such a wealth of music being neglected by museums or even music artists after this man poured his heart and his passion into collecting all of it. If anything you'd think serious music aficionados who are millionaires (and there are a lot of those in the World) would buy this collection if not for the 20th century's complete musical history then the non-copyrighted material just sitting in those waiting to be sold/spliced/re-recorded again.

Another fascinating fact about his collection:

If you started listening to the music in this collection on the day you were born, and listened every minute of every day, by the time you finished, you'd be 57 years old. That's a lot of music. And it's a lot of history.

More info here - "The Greatest Music Collection"
Larger video can be found here -

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I'd think maybe Ripley's would want it for the craziness of its size. If indeed the desireability of the majority of the recordings is low, then looking for a collector interested in the content is not the way to go. Most of the recordings probably are already in the Library of Congress. The impressiveness is simply the scale of the collection.

I'm finding with my art that people who want content, want content they want, not just a huge amount. Size perhaps doesn't matter here.

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The problem with this collection is that about 5% of it might be rare, but the rest of it are things you'll pick up at flea markets and dollar bins all over the place.

The *only* thing he's got going for him is the fact that he conveniently has every crappy Anne Murray, Firestone Christmas, Carpenters, Saturday Night Fever (and at least 20-50 copies of each of those) all in one location.

I used to travel from NYC to Pittsburgh when he was still an operating store and he'd try to sell a five dollar Beatles record for 50 based upon its "cultural importance."

That Rolling Stones record is nowhere near as rare as he wants it to be -- if I can find the completed Ebay auctions, it actually sells for about 75% of that...

Okay, negative ninny-ing over.
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