Record Collector was started in May of 1982 by Kirk Walther, originally as a box of used records in the back of a comic book store called Barfunkel’s. Before long, the business needed space to grow – a store of its own. Kirk found just enough room on Prentiss Street to house the expanding collection. But it wasn’t enough. The primary goal of this store was to exist no longer than a year, and to move downtown from there.
That goal was met when the store moved into a second floor space on Linn Street. It could house the records and the vinyl enthusiasts that had started flocking to the store. Along with the arrival of CD mania, Kirk continued to carry a full-bodied vinyl inventory to match the tastes of the expanding clientele. After 13 years in that location, the store moved into the Jefferson Building at 125 East Washington Street, where current owners Bobby and Alissa started working for Kirk after years of buying music from him.
In 2007 Record Collector moved to our current location in the heart of downtown Iowa City at 116 South Linn Street across from the public library.
We have always been a destination in downtown Iowa City for physical music enthusiasts and we strive to continue the tradition that Kirk started even after his passing in 2017. The long cast of employees and loyal customers throughout the years have always shaped the feel and look of our store and we are so thankful that they’ve been here to keep the doors open and swinging! We celebrated 35 years in business a few years ago and hope to serve this community for 35 more.
Record Collector’s incarnations and locations around Iowa City:
We specialize in new and used vinyl, as well as used CDs and special orders, with a penchant for the odd, under recognized, and lesser known, but also embrace modern hits and popular music from most of the last century. We have witnessed many formats, from tapes to CDs to vinyl, come and go and come back again, but have always enjoyed showing folks what our favorite sound vibrations are, no matter the medium. Stop in and say hi!