Handling and Storing your Vinyl Records

Throughout the Unlocking our Sound Heritage project our team will work closely with the British Library to support and develop training around the best way to work with analogue sound carriers such as vinyl, open reel and cassette.
In this first of three introductory shorts, we discuss the best way to handle and store vinyl records.

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Handling

The vinyl collection you have spent years building and adding to is something you will want to look after. It tells a story of who you are and reminds you how important music is in your life.

Below are a few simple tips to keep that collection in good condition …

– always handle records by the outer edges and the labelled area only – never touch the playing surfaces with fingers or any other part of the hand

– once you have finished using the record, return it to its protective sleeve. If the sleeve is damaged, replace it with a new one

– avoid leaving your vinyl on the turntable when not in use, in particular with the stylus resting in the groove

– make use of the turntables’ cueing facility, never lowering the stylus onto or lifting the stylus off a record by hand

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Storing

Once you’ve finished listening to a favourite musician or band, keeping the vinyl clean and stored properly is an important way to extend its playback life.

Below are a few simple tips to think about when putting your records away or into permanent storage …

– always check your record is free from dust and is unaffected by mould, insects or active corrosion before storing. Try to clean this dust or dirt from your vinyl before returning it to its sleeve.

– always store your records in sleeves. If there is an inner and outer sleeve, the openings of the two sleeves should be arranged at right angles, with the inner sleeve opening at the top.

– when placing your records on shelves, store them upright and without any significant pressure from the sides (but, enough to prevent sliding or warping).

– avoid stacking a single vinyl for any length of time in an upright position with the edge leaning against a vertical surface.

– and finally, never leave your records near a radiator or other source of heat (e.g. computer equipment); nor in direct sunlight

 

If you have any questions about your own collections or want to add anything to the advice above, please do so in our comments sections below.

We would love to hear not only about your collections, but your experience of handling and storing vinyl.