“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

“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

Archivists of Soul

“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

From left, Numero founders Ken Shipley, Rob Sevier, and Tom Lunt

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

An intern converts reels of analog tape to digital files

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

A close-up of the reel-to-reel

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

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

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

Record sleeve prototypes for an upcoming Numero release

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

Founders Lunt, Sevier, and Shipley behind the house

Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek