Thoughts on Tape Moving Forward: LIBRARY JOURNAL Publishes Updates and Central Overview on the VHS Preservation Project Happening at Yale University!
Most of the more up-to-date and in-the-know Tapeheads are probably familiar with the tremendous VHS preservation project that has been underway for the past year or so over at Yale University, spearheaded by a rewind-inclined academic fellow by the name of David J. Gary with the assistance and support of his colleague Aaron Pratt. If you aren’t clued in on all of this home video history-in-the-making, be sure to check out this complete rundown of the entire project as it was covered here on LM featuring an exclusive and extensive interview with both Gary and Pratt.
Be sure to also check out Gary’s excellent article defending the project and asserting the cultural impact and importance of the VHS tape, horror and cult movies especially. Fast forward to today, and like many VHS tapes the world over, the project is still holding strong, sitting silently in the basement. It’s also of note that David and Aaron have recently held a conference / panel discussion entitled, “Terror on Tape: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the History of Horror on Video” on site at Yale. I was personally unable to attend the conference, but from what I gather, it was a success. David did mention sending me an overview to publish here in Lunchmeat Land, but he’s a busy man, indeed, so we shall have to see. That would rule.
The radical poster for the TERROR ON TAPE conference / panel discussion at Yale, created by artist Hayden Hall. Killer boots, man.
I bring this all back not only to refresh memories and bring it to the attention of the unknowing, but also because of an article recently published by Library Journal, exploring the many facets attached to the VHS Preservation project at Yale, including the future of the VHS format seen through academic eyes. I decidedly don't agree with everything that's stated in this article (namely the deterioration rate of a VHS tape and the notion that “VHS is a format rapidly heading toward obsolescence”), but I do of course align with the central cause of this project. Ultimately, this newest article from Library Journal remains an informative, insightful and essential piece of reading for everyone concerned with the VHS format and the future of its preservation. Much respect to David Gary and Aaron Pratt for putting a ton of hard rewind-inclined work into this preservation project.
FORRRR-EVVVVVV-ER. Yes, we're a big fan of THE SANDLOT around here.