Read more at startribune.com/local/blogs/lileks.

Is it necessary to save dreck? Yes. Bad art says as much as the fine-quality works that supposedly define an era. It can say more, too. If all you knew about the postwar period were movie musicals and abstract art, you'd have an incomplete picture. Then again, if all you knew about the '70s was gore and cheap production values, you could guess the rest. Anyway, Yale has a new collection. The Atlantic magazine says they have 2,700 VHS tapes from the 1970s and '80s, making Yale the only U.S. institution that collects these horror and exploitation movies in magnetic tape format. While they aren't equivalent to the work of Isaac Newton, they carry cultural weight, and will hopefully allow researchers to explore the home-video revolution, as well as the cultural mores and politics of the era.