How do you store and catalog your vinyl?

Just curious how members store, sort and catalog their vinyl collection.
With less than a 1000 I have a hard time remembering just what I already own and have purchased duplicates by mistake whilst at the LRS.

How do you store them?
How do you sort them? Alphabetical or genre or year?
Catalog? In the good old days probably in a note book modern equivalent would be a word document or excel spreadsheet.

Very interested to hear what you do and how you manage that massive collection.
Easiest method is to catalog them using Discogs. The app is very easy to use and you can then access your collection on line plus see the value 
Ah yes good job we are in the modern age, there's an app for that lol.

How do the owners of mega collections store them and organise them physically.
Has to be a daunting task!
For example I read in another thread of someone having 25000 lps and knowing people who had a million of them.
Say what?
Just HOW in the world do you store them AND be able to access them and actually find something you are looking for??
Alphabetical by composer, band, artist. Within a given letter it is totally disorganized though I tend to try to clump like composers, bands, artists for ease of grab. Years ago I bought these white plastic dividers with big black letters so I can see in low light where to begin picking though the chaos.
That would help for sure Steve.
My mind still boggles at the sheer shelf space taken up by say 100k records and how to find or decide what to listen too.
I imagine a sort of huge library where the owner has a set of steps on runners to whiz round and pick out albums from the upper reaches!
Complete randomness - though the ones most often played tend to congregate together!
@roberjerman +1, plus the lost gyms you mine as you are seeking out something specific is always fun.
I’ve tried to sort mine on a few occasions, and it never lasts. I always end up with all my favorites, and most often played, congregating toward the end nearest the record player. Of course I’ve only got 500 to 600, albums. It seems they naturally arrange themselves by condition, the ones that are worn and scratched work their way to the far end. 

When someone hae 25,000 Records, it occurs to me, when will you ever have time to listen to them? If you played 10 albums a day! Which no one does, unless you’re a DJ, it would take nearly 7 years to hear them all just once! Again, who does that? I wind up playing the same 100 or so over and over. To each their own, I don’t suppose that’s any crazier than spending $100 grand on a stereo? 
I just rely on my memory of what I have and where,  they are I have about 1000 Lps for now.
I use a program called Music Collector that can be found at I actually enjoyed doing the catalog work. As simple or as complicated as you want it to be.
I have about 3,000 LPs (and around 6,000 CDs). I don't have the LPs cataloged, never felt the need, altho Music Collector or Discogs are both workable, depending. The LPs are stored in modular fashion in U-Haul Small Moving Boxes, which at 12 5/8" x 12 5/8" x 16 3/8" are sized precisely to hold LPs, are inexpensive, and are readily available. These boxes are laid top open on their side with the album jacket's spine exposed on simple plywood and concrete block shelves (in the ground floor storage room, thank you...) which keeps the LPs comfortably accessible yet stored correctly. (Remember that those LPs add up to *a lot* or weight when choosing where to shelve them...) The collection is sorted first by general genre: classical, folk, rock/pop, world, etc. Within a genre, the sorting is more ad hoc based on composer, performer, instrumentation or whatever seems most salient about an LP. If one uses software to catalog one's LP collection, the sensible way to file them would be to match however the software sorts them.

CDs are a different matter...
A few thousand LP's, sorted by speed, then mono, stereo or quadrophonic, then by genre. Sorted within genre chronologically.

Also, a special category for 100 of my favourites. LP's rotate into and out of that category, but it stays around 100.
Discogs to catalog, hands down the best. Plus, when you go to sell one, it’s ready to list! (Sorry Audiogon!)

MoFi inner sleeves are hands down the best.

Man, you guys make it way too complicated! Just kidding, whatever works. I just put my Pop (non-Classical) alphabetical by artist, then chronological. Classical alpha by composer, then alpha by piece title, then alpha by conductor. That's for both LP and CD.

Brooks Berdan had probably 25,000-30,000 LP's when he died. Sheila let him turn their dining room into his LP library. At that time I had about 5,000, and he had 5 or 6 times that. I'll bet Fremer has at least that.

I store my LPs by genre (pop/rock, classical, C/W, jazz, compilations ) and then alphabetically. I also have a category "unclassified", where everything is placed before a listen-through and definitive classification.
I still cannot really get my mind round what 25000 records stored in an archival and easily accessible way can look like.
Has to take up an entire room?
I get frustrated at times with my small collection even though it is in alphabetical order
Has anyone entered the digital age and heard of a DATABASE?
You can search for anything, any way, at any time.

Hi uberwaltz,

 I have a VERY simple Excel spreadsheet with album name, artist, year it came out, Genre and a box for notes.  I also have a Dropbox account that I place the list. I can open it anywhere on my phone or pad so I stop buying dupes. 

As for as storeage, I separated them by genre and then have the in alphabetical order. I did the same with CD’s.

Hope this helps.


+1 tooblue! I like the surprise of finding something in my collection that I had forgotten about! Sort of like going shopping to stores for music in the old days! LOL!
A divider between each of the categories such as Symphonies, Quartet, Sonatas, Vienna waltz, Opera, Solo instruments, Concertoes etc often with subcategories such as Piano, Violin, Organ etc. Within the category alphabetically after composer, then name of work.
An Excell sheet with a post for each LP and with many data such as e.g. composer, performer, record brand, day of purchase, my personal rating for technical and musical quality as well as wear state. In Excell I can filter and sort in whatever way I want.
For me this works very well.
In my case physical storage is something entirely different than cataloging on paper.

On paper it's really simple: 3 different lists for classical, jazz and rock/pop, each alphabetically ordered by name of composer (in classical) or artist.

Physically, it's more complicated and intuitive, guided by different types of associations (stylistic connections, label mates, artists that worked together or influenced each other, share the same producer, etc.)

In classical, it is by label and within each label by conductor. So e.g. all decca SXL's together and within this all Ansermets together, ranked chronologically (early 2000 series first, later 6000 series titles later).

In jazz it's also by label and than within each label arranged by associated artists. So e.g all blue notes together and within that group the Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Anthony Williams titles side by side. Why? They were at that time all members of the Miles Davis Quintet. Of course (?) the records under Davis' name are elsewhere on the Columbia shelve.

In rock it is again mostly arranged by label and/or association. So e.g after Roxy Music (island label) comes Brian Eno (island and polydor/eg), then Cluster (first on Brain, then on Sky), Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can and other Kraut bands. Then it suddenly jumps to UK punk and wave, which was strongly influenced by krautrock.

So it's sort of a quilt with some unusual patterns and I don't suppose anybody outside myself could ever find his/her way through this (I know my wife doesn't). For really massive collections this 'system' probably wouldn't work, but for my ca. 4000 lp's it never fails.

I have always catalogued mine by genre but it doesn’t reflect how I actually use lp’s. That said, I have considered organizing them more aspirationally, or event-driven. In other words; what is the goal I am trying to achieve?

More often than not I am finding I do things like comparisons of recordings to show the differences between labels and live or studio recordings. I also find that I play my lp’s according to the mood I am seeking....walks down a memory lane, parties, dancing, sit-down cerebral, amping up my mood or relaxing...

Organizng by the above may not be realistic as it would require me to re-evaluate each lp. If I ever find I have the time to put toward it, I may make a run at it.
Very basically by genre. What I love though, is that I have them stored in a record store style so I can easily flip through them. I could not do bookcase style storage.
There is definitely a LOT of thought and effort going into some peoples collection and organization of the same.
I like the idea of doing record store style but that must take up a lot of floorspace if you have a large collection?

noromance, record store style is tempting, but it takes up MUCH more space than does bookcase style storage.

As for genre-organizing, I don’t like to think of music in those terms. Is Dylan Folk? Rock? Folk-Rock? Americana? How about Ry Cooder---Blues? Zydeco? Cuban? Bill Frisell---Jazz, Americana, Fusion? Danny Gatton---Rockabilly? Jazz? Blues?

The answer to all the above is yes!

@uberwaltz @bdp24 Yes, it takes up a lot of space - along one wall of the basement. I couldn’t have it any other way. It can be like browsing a store and not knowing what you might find. The genres are simple: jazz, blues, folk, rock, musicals, classical, and indie. Memory of where the albums are also helps.
noromance, so the idea behind genre-organization is that you regularly find yourself desiring to hear music of a specific genre? Being able to flip through albums and see the covers is very appealing, I must admit. But I barely have room for my bookcase-style LP and CD storage in my music room! Both side walls are completely covered, leaving space only for my speakers and equipment racks on the front wall, and my listening chair on the rear. I need a bigger room, which may be in my future.
I've cleaned a bunch of my vinyl and only play those (and clean as needed from the rest), allowing just those to escape the clutches of my having alphabetized everything. So there's two categories among my vinyl: Clean and random, and not cleaned but organized.
@bdp24 Not quite. It is the laziest way of grouping the records! Seriously, Because they are in record store style layout, I just pick what I want. I couldn't do bookcase. It would drive me nuts. Sometimes albums go AWOL. I have the entire basement with the primary rig, pool table area, workshop area, and rec area with 2nd rig.
Records are stored library/bookcase method in modular Per Madsen record racks. They are arranged alpha within basic genre categories: pop/rock, blues, jazz, classical, etc. Record dividers by Koeppel Design (guilty pleasure) are utilized. Total collection is down to a little over 1,000 records. Although well-organized, I’m still more than capable of having a “moment” and purchasing something I already own…


Glad its not just me then!

I suppose I should catalog them, add to a spreadsheet and have a copy on my phone. That way when perusing my LRS I can check if I already have it.

But I am too lazy so far and rely on memory which gets a little rusty with the years it seems!

Assuming your collection continues to grow, one of the aforementioned on-line databases may be the way to go. I can definitely use more memory. I’ve often thought that if someone could figure out how to defrag the human brain they would indeed become wealthy. But I digress.

Defrag the human brain!
If only! Think what it might do for GK!
But then again what fun would life be without all those absolutely useless pieces of trivia you accumalate over the years!

I am being pursued by a wild GK like creature.

Oh wait.


Nothing more to worry about then

Discogs is great.  Been using the app for a couple years now.  Just snap a shot of the UPS code or input the catalogue number....add record to your library.  A new app update was just released.  Everything I own is catalogued in Discogs.  It also makes for a great conversation piece when someone says, "Hey, I understand you buy records."  "Why yes....yes I do.  Would you like to see my collection?"  Pull out the app and go to town.  Make sure your phone is charged.  They'll get lost in your collection.....seriously.  

All of my records reside in Boltz LP racks.  Very study....solid steel.  All records slipped in MoFi sleeves and 4mil thick outer sleeves.  Records are sorted by band/artist name. 
I have ~2500 LPs & for simplicity & versatility, file similarly to many distribution warehouses:

Using Ikea shelving, I have 4 rows x 6 columns, ie 24 cubes filling part of the music room wall. These are labelled A-D on the rows & 1-6 on the columns.

I keep a spreadsheet with all artists listed alphabetically & just mark which cube they are in ie A3, C1, D5 etc. Albums by that artist always go in the same cube & it's really fast to find anything. Otherwise new LPs just go into the next available cube, randomly by genre or artist name.

This saves reorganising things in a more conventional A-Z setup when new LPs are purchased and an existing cube is already full so everything to the right of that needs to be moved.
That does sound a decent idea as yes when I buy new albums I am sorting alpha and when a cube is full then have to start shifting more albums over which can then have a serious knock on effect!

Had a purchase of just 3 albums cause 1 hours worth of moving and rethinking other albums!
I create a relational database that ties in to online meta-data sources, then I painstakingly scan my album art and create tags for music category, performers, composers, production information, release dates, etc.  When I want to listen to an album, I grab one off the shelf.
I have about 5,000 LPs.

They are stored on shelving that consists of 42 cubes, 15 x 15. I built them myself.

They are divided into into three more or less equal sized categories: classical, Afro Cuban, and everything else.

The classical is divided into early (pre-baroque), classical, modern (Alban Berg, Schoenberg etc and after), then arranged alphabetically by composer, then by date composed.

Afro Cuban is arranged alphabetically by artist, then by date of release.

Everything else is divided into jazz, blues, gospel, folk, world, reggae, Afro-pop, country and 50s-80s rock n’ roll, rock, then arranged alphabetically by artist, then by date of release.

Some LPs can fall into one or more categories, I make a call and hope I remember. Eg aretha is both rock and gospel.

The 200 78s are arranged alphabetically.

As for inventory, I am in the process of photographing each LP cover, front and back, on my iPhone. I’ll download them into a document that I will notate regarding condition etc.

i tend to listen to the same 700 or so regularly. About 3,000 get listened to less regularly. About 500 are there because a guest will ask to hear it. About 700 need to go.
My previous reply was maybe a bit fallacious.  Truthfully, I divide my albums into "classical", "jazz", "rock" and "folk" music.  I also have a "new album" section, and a "current interest" section, which are somewhat intermingled.  I have a small stack that is in current rotation.  I have about 400 albums, and never have any problem finding what I am looking for.
Ikea Kallax is a Godsend. I have many of them to house my 4,000+ vinyl, organized alphabetically, with separate sections for rock/pop, jazz, audiophile and classical. I have never seen the point in cataloguing them, except that it might prevent acquiring more than one copy by mistake.....
Agreed on Ikea, I hauled 5 units up from Orlando in my old El Camino, poor thing was dragging its behind with the
Of course couple months after that they opened an Ikea in my town, go figure!
I've separated my albums and CDs into two broad categories, Jazz/Blues and then everything else (Soul, R&B, and soft Rock). I sort them by the first letter of the artist or group name.   I have about 1,200 albums - some of which I don't listen to much or not at all anymore.

I store the ones I listen to the most (about 400) on wooden album racks in my basement listening room.  The rest I store in plastic album holders that I bought back in the 70's and 80's, when I was growing my collection.  For easy access, I place those on home depot storage shelves in my basement utility room.  

I keep two of the plastic holders in my listening room to hold music that I rotate in and out of "bulk" storage.
The Ikea KALLAX is the best deal around. I like the EKET even more, but it’s cost-to-capacity ratio isn’t as good. It’s worth it to me.
  Personally I hate Ikea Kallax shelves - yes they are cheap and no doubt this is why they are so popular.  IMO, the shelves are too deep, not high enough,too many records are in each compartment making it quite heavy and you have to put your own back onto the shelves.

  I have been lucky to have my own design shelves made by my Uncle - for me they are perfect - the 3/4 high dividers release the weight strain of too may records and also allow you to easily flick through records.

my vinyl is sorted strictly A-Z except for Classical, Soundtracks and Various artists have their own small area.
  Discogs is used to catalogue my 95% of my collection.