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Zero Freitas is an addict. The “Brazilian bus magnate” had collected 3,000 records by the time he graduated high school and more than 30,000 when he turned 30. Now 62, he has 5 million—and counting. It’s (unofficially, but most likely) the biggest record collection in the world.
“I’ve gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself,” Freitas said. He is a compulsive collector, snagging everything from polka anthologies to Duke Ellington. His team of “interns” is able to catalogue about 500 records a day, a number far outweighed by new purchases. But until recently, Zero faced a collector’s dilemma: what, exactly, did he plan to do with these literal mountains of vinyl?
In a recent interview with BBC, Freitas unveiled his plan to turn his library into a public non-profit: “The relationship people have with certain songs is subjective and personal. I want to share this with people and make it possible for them to recall their memories.”
It’s unclear whether that means digitizing the records (his “ultimate ambition”), or simply making his warehouse searchable and open to the public. Whatever the case, Zero has taken on a noble and herculean task of cataloguing music that might otherwise be lost forever. Watch his interview with BBC below.