Vinyl: digging in the crates at the Toronto Reference Library

October 30, 2014 | Beau

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Did you know the Toronto Public Library (TPL) has a collection of vinyl records? Up on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library there are over 15,000 LPs available for patrons to listen to, although they can't be signed out and taken home. Back in the day, every branch in the city used to lend out records the way they do CDs and DVDs now; when I'm out looking for vinyl I still see them in thrift stores from time to time, with the branch name stamped on the cover and due date slips attached.

Records at Toronto Reference Library

 The library's collection includes a treasure trove of classic rock:

Bachman Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile

Spoken word:
The Jack Kerouac Collection


Various plays

Folk music from every corner of the globe:

Music Of The World's Peoples

Documentaries and experimental music:

Glenn Gould - The Idea Of North                        

And classical and opera:

A Hundred Years of Italian Opera

But I'm a jazz guy, so that's what I came to have a look at. And there was no shortage of it, from swing to bebop to free jazz to '70s jazz-funk:

 Count Basie - On My Way and Shoutin' Again Assorted jazz records

McCoy Tyner - Expansions  Airto Fingers

So if you've got an interest in music or vinyl, or both, come on over and sit down with a record or three at one of our listening stations, also located up on the fifth floor:

Listening station at Toronto Reference Library

If you’d like to dig through the TPL’s digital crates to see what we’ve got, here is the complete list of our vinyl collection.