I just found this article thanks to the precision-controlled curiosity machine called Facebook.
This man, named Rutherford Chang, buys people's original vinyl editions of the white album by The Beatles. He's fascinated by the story that each of them tells. Kids wrote on them with crayons. They were melted in a fire. They rotted in the basement. They were played thousands of times with no other significant events. In all cases, the owners still had them until they sold them to Chang.
The article is incredibly sparse on details, but there is so much buried beneath it. What fascinates me is what I imagine happening in the mind of the readers of this article. Everyone who reads it will think of the white album - where they first heard it, maybe; where their copy is; what that one object's story is.
Virtually everyone of several generations has owned it at some point or another yet each person, when prompted, can recall parts of their copy's unique story. It was yours and it changed your life, and that means that it existed for you. But it also earned itself a story when you weren't around, which means that it existed without you.