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About Us

The database of classical recordings that feeds this site was built up over a 20-year period by Dave Canfield, who ran a business called Ars Antiqua from 1978 until 2005, at which time he combined with Mikrokosmos Mail Order Co. (see links for contact information). Ars Antiqua, throughout almost all of its history, was by far the largest mail-order business in the world for classical LPs, and also offered large selections of 78s, compact disks, 45s, and open reel & cassette tapes. Over the 27-year period of Ars Antiqua, more than 1.2 million records were offered to its customers. From 1986 onwards, the database was computerized, and currently contains about 250,000 different classical recordings, as well as information about hundred of thousands of duplicates of those. About 75% of the recordings in this database are on the LP format, about 10% are 78s, and the remaining percentage is divided between 45s, CDs and tapes. This is, therefore, the largest database in existence for classical records, especially LPs.

Now that Ars Antiqua as a separate entity no longer exists, and is itself no longer issuing monthly catalogues, Classical Reference.com, will soon begin drawing on the database of Mikrokosmos as well. This will add tens of thousands of additional records to the database, and will also serve to keep prices and other information contained herein current.

The proprietor of Classical Reference.com also intends eventually to begin putting records that never came through his hands into the database from company catalogues and other sources. Of course, these kind of additions will be made easy to differentiate from those records that have actually been sold by either Ars Antiqua or Mikrokosmos.

 

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