Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

Archivists of Soul

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    “Crate diggers”—music obsessives who thumb through endless cartons of vinyl records in search of overlooked gems—are behind one of the most intriguing labels operating today, the Chicago-based Numero Group. Dedicated to unearthing lost musical treasures—primarily in the realms of soul, funk, and gospel—the eight-year-old label has amassed legions of devoted fans.

    Numero Group's office in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, a small two-story house that was originally the home of one of the co-founders

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    From left, Numero founders Ken Shipley, Rob Sevier, and Tom Lunt

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. 3

    An intern converts reels of analog tape to digital files

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  4. 4

    A close-up of the reel-to-reel

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  5. 5

    Stocks of records and CDs in the basement of Numero’s offices

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  6. 6

    Record sleeve prototypes for an upcoming Numero release

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  7. 7

    Founders Lunt, Sevier, and Shipley behind the house

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek