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Research Guides

Historical Visual Materials Collections: Moving Images

This guide lists a variety of research materials such as photographs, architectural plans, postcards, historical maps, artwork and ephemera.

Search for Moving Images

The moving image collection contains film and video of a wide variety of formats. The film collection contains films dating back to 1914 and includes 35mm, 16mm, 8mm and Super 8mm formats.

The collection has a variety of types of films including home movies, such as, a prominent Seattle family's trip through Alaska in the 1920s, a Japanese photographer's family and friends skiing and picnicking on Mt. Rainier in the 1930s, and couple's visit to the Century 21 World's Fair in Seattle in 1963. Other types of film in the collection include industrial and educational films like "Salmon: Catch To Can" or "How To Use a Slide Rule," as well as many films produced on the UW campus during the 1940s - 1970s.

The films cover a wide variety of topics including travel and family life, activities and research related to the UW, industries such as plywood manufacturing, logging, fishing, whaling, and construction, political figures, civil rights and labor, and other documentation of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

There is also a large collection of video dating back to the 1950s which includes 2" Quad tapes, reel to reel, U-Matic cassettes, VHS and many other video formats. They document many aspects of life in the Northwest including the arts, UW activities, politics, health issues, ethnic groups such as Japanese, African-American and Jewish communities.



Streaming video clips from some of the films in the collection are available for viewing on our Digital Collections site.

Selected finding aids for films are available on the Special Collections site

The moving image collections staff is available to offer advice on film preservation issues. They have written an instruction manual for film preservation, Washington State Film Preservation Manual: Low-Cost and No-Cost Suggestions To Care For Your Film (PDF).


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