Zero Freitas. Photo: CNN
The vinyl revival has been a fascinating social movement, as Millennials have gotten into buying LPs, joining ranks with nostalgic Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to dig through crates at record fairs and the handful of used vinyl shops that remain. However big your record collection may be—or the collections of you, me and everyone else reading this put together—no one will ever top Zero Freitas. A Brazilian bus company owner, Freitas’ collection is estimated at somewhere around 5 million records…and it’s still growing.
It’s a collection so big that it’s kept in multiple warehouses. Trying to get a handle on his ever-growing mountain of vinyl, Freitas has 17 interns to photograph and catalog every record—and estimates that only 30 percent of his collection is duplicates. Realizing that he owns more music than he could ever hope to listen to in one lifetime, Freitas is now in the process of turning the collection into a massive non-profit archive to be called Emporium Musical—so that it can all be listened to in other people’s lifetimes. A research and lending library of sorts, visitors would be able to peruse the collection and listen to records onsite, or borrow duplicates. For even more insight into this confounding collection, check out CNN’s visit with Freitas and his life’s work.