How Do You Organize Your LPs?

For vinyl lovers, organizing a record collection can become a taxing process.  If you’re over 40, you probably identify with this scene from the movie, Diner:

If you’re under 40, John Cusack’s “comforting” autobiographical collection in the movie High Fidenlity probably comes to mind. Do you just take the simplest route and go alphabetical? Maybe genre and then alpha? How can you locate that one song on that particular LP quickest? Audiogon member, Zenblaster, asked for some ideas from the community:

Sort by artist name. Separate out any classical and multiple artist compilations. Classicals can be sorted by composer, performer, period etc.

I have about 7,000 LPs. About 3,000 are classical, about 3,000 are jazz; and the rest is mostly rock with some folk, “world music” etc. The classical is arranged in chronological order by composer, i.e., Bach before Haydn before Mozart before Beethoven, and so forth.. The jazz is arranged in alphabetical order by composer, as is the other stuff.

My collection is much smaller so an alphabetical by last name of composer or artist works for me. If a group, I organize alphabetically by first letter of first word in name (ignoring, “The”). Had I a large collection, I would sort first by genre and then alphabetically (as above) within the genre. Have fun.


The classical is arranged in chronological order by composer, i.e., Bach before Haydn before Mozart before Bethoven, and so forth.

The chronological system really appeals to me for the classical. I have about 500 classical LPs. The last 80-85 years is a different story.

For the most part, I’m in line with the above posters. However, with a slight twist. I’m into 12″ singles. So in addition to a separation by genre, I have a separation of 12″ singles. Also, I have a separation for what could be considered “audiophile” recordings or brand new releases (not reissues).

I generally arrange my LPs in “record store” alphabetical order and separating out a few specialty genres as well as titles for easy access. I also separate out specialty pressings such as direct-to-disk, half-speed mastered, and the like by record label.

Moreover, I found the best thing that you can do to make your life easier is to locate the majority of your LPs on shelves located at or slightly above or below eye level. It’s a lot easier to stand while flipping through LPs rather than bending over or crawling on your knees.

Three main groups. Classical, Jazz, Rock.
Alpha by name of Artist/composer.
Foor Classical after by Composer, arranged by size of group, Sonata, Duo, Trio etc. within each, say Beethoven Fifth Symphony then by conductor.
For Jazz and Rock, after each primary artist or band name, in chronological order. (Which really helps but is hard to keep straight for many groups, but worth trying to do. It would be great for Classical too, but is way too complicated to keep straight, so i go with the other method in Classical.)Actually a totally chronological order only, would be amazing. And informative. But total Hell to keep straight or find stuff unless you had a good handle on the dates etc.


Do you have any secrets to keeping a vinyl collection organized?  We like alpha by genre because it seems record stores have trained our brains this way. Share your tips for keeping track of your LPs in the comments below!

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