May 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Are VHS Tapes the New Rarity?

028935.jpgIt may have come as a surprise to some when Yale University Library announced earlier this year its acquisition of 2,700 VHS tapes, becoming the first institution in the country to actively collect the outmoded medium. What arrived at Sterling Library back in March were largely horror-genre movies from the seventies and eighties, prompted by librarian David Gary and PhD student Aaron Pratt.

So how long before VHS tapes turn up in the catalogues of antiquarian booksellers? In what he calls a "c-list" of "Uncommon, Unlikely & Odd" books and book-related items, Ken Lopez of Hadley, Massachusetts, offers up this rare VHS of the 1975 Academy Award-winning film of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (HBO/Cannon Video, n.d.), signed by Kesey, who, according to the bookseller, was rather unhappy with the movie's casting. For collectors of Kesey, or perhaps for the burgeoning subset of VHS collectors out there, this rare VHS is priced at $750.

Image via Ken Lopez.