Janet Byington is proud of her collection of classic vinyl albums. But she knows there are Rome residents with equally impressive collections of all sorts and she wants the public to see them.

The Rome Area History Museum has opened up a space for local collectors to show off their unique collections — of all sorts.

Byington, Vice President of the museum board, is currently displaying her collection of dozens of classic vinyl albums. From Linda Ronstadt to Barbra Streisand, James Taylor to The Mamas and the Papas, and from Olivia Newton John to The Beatles.

She’s been collecting them for years and is happy to share them with the Rome community.

“We’re trying to encourage people to show off their collections,” she said. “I’m displaying mine because this is really nostalgic for a lot of people and it’s something that makes people smile to see the old album covers and remember that music and that time in their lives.”

The collection is housed in a 15’ by 15’ space and museum staff are hoping Rome residents will loan their collections for a one-month exhibit.

“We know there are some incredible collections out there in our community,” said Debbie Galloway, Interim Executive Director of the museum. “There are people who collect elephants or dolls or Santa Claus or hats. We’re sure there are tons of great unique collections all over town that residents would be interested in seeing.”

The museum would display each collection for a month and return the items to their owner.

One of the upcoming exhibitions will feature cowboy movie memorabilia.

“We want to bring history into our culture today,” Byington said. “This museum isn’t just about old buildings or river boats. We want to include all aspects of Rome and American history. This is a great way to add another dimension to what people can experience here.”

And it’s a great way for the museum to encourage residents to come back. There will be a new private collection on display each month.

“So get in touch with us to see if we might be able to share your collection with the community,” Galloway said. “I know there are people out there who have these wonderful collections of all sorts that people would love to see.”

Byington’s collection of classic vinyl records will be on display at the Rome Area History Museum through October. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you have a collection you’d like considered for exhibition, email debbieg@romehistorymuseum.org.

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