LP Purchasing Policy


Generally speaking, I will purchase any reasonably priced complete opera recording (on LP only - no CDs, tapes, 45s or 78s) I need for THE DURBECK ARCHIVE.

Two Primary Factors

1. All purchasing considerations are based upon Archival need at the time items are proffered.

2. "Reasonably priced" is primarily based upon my sense of reason, tempered by the prevailing market prices established by leading dealers of used records - AND - how desperately I need the opera recording quote submitted for purchase consideration. Note: I am not the answer to your retirement!

Purchasing Consideration Factors

1. obscure and lesser known composers - any nationality; - this includes, for example, operas written by college faculty composers and performed by the college music department etc.- in other words, "odd ball" stuff

2. obscure operas by major and lesser known composers
3. all forms of non-commercial and private label ("pirates") opera recordings
4. standard repertoire operas with unusual casts
5. standard repertoire operas on unique pressings
6. all forms of historical recordings and re-issues
7. will consider some budget label re-issues
8. your high school opera G & S (etc, et al) production - if it's complete
9. some abridged recordings where all of the major music is included and the plot development is essentially intact

10. in situations where a major portion of a work has been completed, performed and recorded but the composer "died" before the work could be completed; or the composer "died" first then, in memoriam, a partially completed work was performed and recorded - variations on that theme etc.

11. opera forms: grand opera, operetta, comic opera, zarzuelas, modern opera, all national forms - sacred & secular, just about anything "operatic" - but no Broadway-type shows or popular "musicals"

12. If in doubt (about any of the above) - QUOTE!

Quoting the Necessary Information

1. the composer - e.g. Verdi
2. the opera title - e.g. AIDA
3 the opera set label and number - e.g. RCA Victor, LM 6122
4. the conductor - e.g. Perlea
5. several of the major performers - e.g. Bjoerling, Milanov, Tozzi
6. your asking price - e.g. $3.95 + postage
7. always state physical condition of the box/jacket/folder/container and LPs for each item quoted - condition is important and truly affects value all of the above information is necessary for each item quoted

Purchasing Proprieties

1. Each purchase agreement between buyer (me) and seller (you) will have a time period stated when the seller may expect to receive payment and when I may expect to receive the purchased opera. Most transactions will be immediate - you offer, I accept. Now and then, the condition may exist where I have made a substantial purchase, exhausting currently available funds and have to delay payment until those funds are replenished. In the event of such a delay, a mutually agreed upon payment schedule will be made.

2. "Make me an offer!" solicitations are discouraged and will often be ignored. Priced offers will always receive priority considerations. I am not inclined to barter or haggle. If I feel a quoted price is "unreasonable (see above)," I will respectfully decline the offer without a counter-offer. If a quoted price borders on being a reasonable offer, I will try to reason with the seller to find a price with which each of us is comfortable and agreeable.

3. I do not believe in caveat emptor. I do believe in "win - win" transactions, where both buyer and seller are in compliant satisfaction; willing seller, willing buyer. If upon receipt of a purchased opera I feel the product is not as originally quoted or advertised - for any reason - I will expect a full (as per standard commercial policy) refund.

4. Occasionally, over-zealous sellers are moved to mail unsolicited items for price evaluation; or have the idea that once I have "their treasure" in my presence, I will feel compelled/impelled to buy it. Please dissuade yourself of this notion. Anything received - unsolicited - will not be returned without the sender including full return shipping funds - and even then, at my reasonable convenience. Ask first.

Archival Donations

Being associated with, or being a part of, entities of greatness is an ambition achieved by very few of us. THE DURBECK ARCHIVE is one of those entities. Although De-vinyl Providence had entrusted me with the creation and cultural sustenance of this Archive while it is in my hands, eventually this magnificent collection will be incorporated into a major institution of higher learning, becoming a major world-prominent academic resource for opera and discographical studies and applications. If you would enjoy becoming a part of this Archival entity, your donations are welcome. Give your classical vocal LPs a fine and respectful "vinyl" resting place. Regretfully, since at this time my Archive is a personal, privately owned endeavor, I cannot offer tax deductible receipts. All potential donations should be cleared with me before sending. If your donation is accepted, I will pay all shipping costs.

Composer Donations

Attn: composers! If you have written an opera which has been performed and recorded on to LP records and would like to donate a copy of this recording to THE DURBECK ARCHIVE, your name and the name of your opera will receive a certain immortality for being included in the most exhaustive opera discography ever published. The same offer is made to singers, conductors, librettists etc. who have privately pressed complete opera recordings in their possession which they would like to immortalize, please consider donating them to THE DURBECK ARCHIVE. Upon acceptance, publication is guaranteed.

Vinyl Considerations

As you ponder sales and donations of classical vocal LPs to my Archive, remember that I have over 50,000 LPs, including about 8,500 + opera recordings. Not in braggadocio do I reiterate these statistics, but rather to remind you that if you quote something you deem exceptionally rare and I reply that I already have it, there is a very, very good chance that I do. I do not have time for games of "seek & refusal" to aggrandize my reputation and Archival status. Every effort I make on behalf of THE DURBECK ARCHIVE is honest and sincere. If you respect the integrity of my goals and archival intentions, I will honor and respect your efforts to help me accomplish some of those goals and ambitions.


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