Here’s one for the collectors—The Record Project is an online gallery and virtual tool designed to showcase not only an impressive collection of close to 65,000 pieces of vinyl, but to celebrate something that’s all too often forgotten in modern music consumption—album art.
The gallery was built around one of Canada’s largest private collections of LPs (numbering around 35,000) and 45-RPM singles (count those at close to 30,000) from the 1950s and 1960s. Calgary-based collector Kenneth Murphy says that there is a method to the madness. “I find these years musically and culturally the most interesting,” he states on the site, before also adding something most every other collector will know all too well. “And because every organized collection needs a clear focus.”
The collection features high-res scans of both the front and back of each album, and is searchable by artist or album, or, distinctively, browsable by categorized keywords. For instance, click on “Animals” followed by “Cat/kitten” for a look at vintage album covers featuring the internet’s favourite animal. Click on “Adjectives” followed by “Boring” for a look at a sampling of covers from the era that left something to be desired. And maybe our favourite—check out “Transportation/Travel” and then “Bonhomme” to check out an album by The Champs featuring—you guessed it—Bonhomme. It’s almost like your very own stock image engine for album covers.
Additionally, the “Pressed In Canada” section details the Canadian music industry’s move from a strictly manufacturing and distribution business in the 1950s to a full-fledged music industry.
About half of the collection’s visuals are currently online, with plans to add even more rare covers over time. Check out a few stills from the site in the gallery above, and visit The Record Project website to dig through history your self.