In the days where most music is downloaded, one man is on a quest to have the largest library of vinyl records.
Zero Freitas, a 62-year-old businessman from Brazil, has a collection of music that includes several million albums and the number continues to climb. Freitas plans to make his personal collection available to the public by opening "Emporium Musical," a library of the albums with listening stations.
Freitas recently purchased more than 100,000 records that filled more than a dozen 40-foot-long shipping containers that were shipped to his warehouse, where his team of interns catalogs about 500 records per day. Allan Bastos, Freitas' New York buyer, said the cataloging work would take "probably 20 years."
Freitas studied music composition in college before taking over his family's profitable private bus line business. His love for record collecting stems from a childhood memory of a hi-fi stereo with 200 albums that his father purchased when he was a young boy.
After that Freitas was hooked. In his teens, he owned about 3,000 records and owned about 30,000 by the time he was 30. But it was his divorce that made his collecting spree take off. "Maybe it's because I was alone," Freitas said.
While he views each record as a memory, he owns many duplicates, which account for 30% of his collection. He plans on selling some duplicates online.
Freitas received a federal authorization to import used records and will soon move his collection to the "Emporium Musical." It will be a place to preserve music, since Bastos estimates that 80% of mid-20th century recorded music from Brazil, Cuba and Nigeria has not been digitally transferred. Freitas' collection includes almost everything that was recorded in Cuba. "It's very important to save this," Freitas said.
Freitas' library includes a personal collection purchased from Bob Hope's daughter, and signed records with messages from Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein and Dave Brubeck.