Save Scarecrow, a Massive Physical Media Collection This is the reason for this post. Scarecrow Video is one of the few video rental places still operating. You can go in, or rent by mail, something from a collection of 147,000 titles. Like. I cannot understate how big this is. No streaming service has this many. All of them combined don’t have this many. You probably cannot pirate many of these, because they’re too niche to even be seeded, if there was a digital copy in the first place. It’s so cool. But also predictably they are in financial trouble.

So Scarecrow obviously can’t operate as a usual business, right? Like, it’s fun to go in and rent a thing and have an experience that’s like nostalgic of the video rental stores that were common in the past (even though those usually did not have this big a selection), but that doesn’t keep the lights on. They’ve relied on donations for awhile to keep things going, but it seems like they’ve had some of their existing funding providers dry up.

They’re asking for $1.8 million before then end of the year. They claim in the linked post that they need it to:

I believe it. I’ve got a personal stake in it because I go there some time, it’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s a good place, I think.

They say:

“Our situation is urgent and the stakes have never been higher. If we are unable to raise this money, our ability to keep our doors open will be jeopardized, and we will be forced to move out of our space and go into “hibernation” while we plot a new future for Scarecrow. Keeping one of the world’s largest publicly-available video collections intact and accessible is our utmost priority, and though there are still some uncertainties on our path forward, we are not going away.”

I believe they’ll try if it comes to that, but I think it’s good for them to be able to persist as they’re own thing. Pure speculation on my part, but I could imagine them trying to find some other archival group to adopt their collection, and maybe it’d work out, but ehhh maybe it wouldn’t.

“Comparing our holdings to institutions like The Library of Congress and the Paley Center as well as the WorldCat database reveals that we hold thousands of rare and out-of-print titles. Of our 100 rarest titles:

Seriously, it is so cool being able to go just rent like, any of these.

Anyways, $1.8 million is a pretty big ask. That’s not the kind of thing I can make a dent in personally. I’m sure that every bit helps, so if you’re interested in sending them money personally please do, but that’s not why I’m making this post.

This is an amount that really could stand for an organization or suspiciously wealthy individual to provide. And so, if you happen to know one of those who would be interested in sending them money, please forward the message on. :)