Hey, spring cleaning is just around the corner. Get an early start by clearing some of the clutter out of your life while helping a community institution.
When’s the last time you actually listened to those old Doodletown Pipers albums? How about that lute you thought you’d learn to play? And that eight-track player you’ve just never been able to let go of — it’s time.
While these sorts of things are collecting dust in people’s closets, they are treasures to the Sarasota Music Archive, which is seeking tax-deductible donations of all things musical to sell at its fifth annual musical flea market fundraiser, to be held Feb. 15.
The archive, housed on the second floor at Selby Library, is a repository of over 700,000 musical items, including 120,000 vinyl records, as well as examples of just about every recording technology there’s ever been, going back to antique wax cylinders. It also has a comparable collection of devices for playing recorded music, as well as instruments and items such as posters and autographed memorabilia.
The archive is a nonprofit organization, and its collection is available to the public. Once a year, the archive holds its flea market, which is its biggest fundraiser. Items for sale include pieces from the archive of which they have multiples, as well as items donated by the public.
Items offered at the flea market in recent years have included a 1961 sitar from Ravi Shankar’s shop, autographed recordings by Luciano Pavarotti and Peter Frampton, a Pete Fountain trumpet and a 4.5-foot handmade hammer dulcimer.
Donations are way down this year, says Sarasota Music Archive manager Dave Berry. He suspects there are two reasons: First, the flea market was pushed up two months this year; and second, the library has been closed for renovation for a month.
Whatever the reason, donations will be gladly accepted at the Selby Library right up until the sale Feb. 15. If it’s remotely music-related, Berry says, they’re interested, with just a few exceptions. Equipment must be in working order, and the archive is not currently accepting sheet music or 78s (And of you don’t know what a 78 is, it’s a record from the, like, way olden days. Come visit the archive sometime and they’ll tell you more).
On larger donations, pickup may be available.
For questions, call 861-1168 or email [email protected]