I'm finding this very exciting: the prospect of rescuing sounds off deteriorating, even broken, records:
At the Library of Congress, in a small, white room with bright red carpet, physicist Carl Haber sits down to play a record from 1930. It's a recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe." But here's the strange thing: This record is broken.
Here's the full story. Check the audio samples.
I guess it makes sense that there would eventually be a visual or photographic way to play old records.