Grays Harbor Happenings Wins Multiple Awards

Players and Referees at Football Game, ca. 1926

Play­ers and Ref­er­ees at Foot­ball Game, ca. 1926

Mem­bers of the UW Libraries have been hon­ored for their work on Grays Har­bor Hap­pen­ings: The News­reels of C. D. Ander­son, a doc­u­men­tary film pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the UW Libraries, UWTV, and the 7th Avenue The­atre in Hoquiam. The doc­u­men­tary, directed by Ann Cop­pel, traces the eight-year project to pre­serve and pro­vide access to the orphaned film col­lec­tion, News­film of Grays Har­bor County. The news­reels doc­u­ment local events such as parades, pic­nics, and sport­ing events, in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and Grays Har­bor in the mid-1920s.

Spe­cial Col­lec­tions’ Nico­lette Bromberg, Visual Mate­ri­als Cura­tor, and Han­nah Palin, Film Archives Spe­cial­ist, always wanted to bring the films back to their com­mu­nity of ori­gin. Joyce Agee, Asso­ciate Direc­tor of Advance­ment, was able to obtain fund­ing and sup­port to make that dream a real­ity. On March 9, 2013, Grays Har­bor Hap­pen­ings: The News­reels of C. D. Ander­son was shown at two screen­ings at the 7th Avenue The­atre, a restored movie house con­tem­po­rary with Mr. Anderson’s news­reels, to an audi­ence of almost 1,000 peo­ple. The pro­gram included the doc­u­men­tary, a pre­sen­ta­tion dis­cussing the film preser­va­tion project, and a talk by local his­to­ri­ans Roy Vataja of the Aberdeen Museum of His­tory and John Lar­son of the Pol­son Museum, fea­tur­ing clips from the films.

The film and project have gone on to state-wide and national acclaim win­ning the Wash­ing­ton Museum Asso­ci­a­tion Project of Excel­lence Award, the David Dou­glas Award from the Wash­ing­ton State His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, and a bronze Telly award. The film was also shown at STIFF, Seattle’s True Inde­pen­dent Film Fes­ti­val, ear­lier this year. If you’re inter­ested in view­ing Grays Har­bor Hap­pen­ings, it is avail­able for view­ing online or for pur­chase at the Pol­son Museum. The dig­i­tal col­lec­tion for the News­film of Grays Har­bor County, ca. 1925–1933 can be viewed at the UW Libraries Dig­i­tal Col­lec­tions site and the find­ing aid is online at Spe­cial Col­lec­tions.

(arti­cle author - Han­nah Palin)

Digital collection of activist Gary Greaves’ interviews now available


Gary Greaves Oral History Digitization Project

Inter­view record­ings from the late 1980s and early 90s that relate to post-war Seat­tle his­tory and cover a diverse array of top­ics — such as trans­porta­tion, race rela­tions, hous­ing, city plan­ning and labor — nar­rated by an equally diverse group includ­ing well-known politi­cians such as Cheryl Chow, Martha Choe and Paul Schell; com­mu­nity activists such as Aaron Dixon and Hazel Wolf.

Visit col­lec­tion

UW Today arti­cle about collection


Digital Collections Changes

On Tues­day, March 25 the Libraries Dig­i­tal Col­lec­tions site moved from CON­TENTdm 5.4 to CON­TENTdm 6.7. Our Dig­i­tal Col­lec­tions will look and behave dif­fer­ently with this move. Our end-users will see many improve­ments includ­ing:

  • improved search capa­bil­i­ties includ­ing faceted searching,
  • mod­ern social fea­tures of com­ment­ing, rat­ing, and social media integration,
  • improved page nav­i­ga­tion in com­pound doc­u­ments includ­ing a page-flip feature,
  • intu­itive zoom­ing and pan­ning of large images

As of March 25th the offi­cial URL will be how­ever, all of our pre­vi­ous URLs will for­ward to the new site so peo­ple with book­marks and such should still be able to access the col­lec­tions via these old links.

Medieval and Historical Manuscripts Collection

Our small col­lec­tion of medieval books and frag­ments includes pages (“leaves”) from books typ­i­cally found in medieval libraries dur­ing the peri­ods known as the High Mid­dle Ages (1000–1300 CE) and Late Mid­dle Ages (1300–1500 CE.) Most of our man­u­scripts were pro­duced in the great cen­ters of man­u­script pro­duc­tion in France, Flan­ders, and Italy. A few oth­ers come from Ger­many, Spain, and Eng­land. Some are text-only pages, some filled with music, oth­ers with splen­did dec­o­ra­tions.

Detail from Antiphonary fragment, late 14th/15th cent.
Detail from Antiphonary frag­ment, late 14th/15th cent.

Visit the online col­lec­tion at

Photographs and drawings of folk costumes from former Yugoslavia and surrounding regions.

Pho­to­graphic prints, pat­tern draw­ings, water­color paint­ings, and post­cards that for­mer UW faculty-member Blanche Payne col­lected or cre­ated on her research trips to the for­mer Yugoslavia and var­i­ous other coun­tries dur­ing 1930 and 1936–1937.

Blanche Payne’s travel pho­tographs cap­ture a time between World War I and II where regional folk cos­tume was being replaced by West­ern fash­ions for every­day wear and became rel­e­gated to use in fes­ti­vals and dances. 

Through study­ing Yugoslav museum col­lec­tions, trav­el­ling to remote vil­lages, mar­kets, and fes­ti­vals, and study­ing and col­lect­ing regional cos­tume, Payne was able to record the dis­tinct dif­fer­ences in cos­tume that arose from both regional dif­fer­ences and cul­tural symbolism. 

Her pat­tern draw­ings are a resource to any­one who wants to study and recre­ate these regional cos­tumes, while her col­lected post­cards and paint­ings allow the viewer to view these cos­tumes in vibrant color. 

Some of the pho­tographs depict Blanche Payne’s cos­tume design stu­dents mod­el­ing the cos­tumes she brought back from her trips.

More Photo Albums added to Mountaineers Collection

The Moun­taineers is an out­door club, founded in 1906, to pro­mote the dis­cov­ery, con­ser­va­tion and doc­u­men­ta­tion of the “moun­tains, forests and water­courses of the Pacific North­west”. There were 151 ini­tial char­ter mem­bers, one of whom was the renowned pho­tog­ra­pher, Asa­hel Cur­tis.

These albums depict some of the first major expe­di­tions of the Moun­taineers includ­ing the first major out­ing to Mt. Olym­pus in 1907. Other areas rep­re­sented in the col­lec­tion include Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker/Glacier Peak, Mt. Stuart/Mt. Daniel, Mt. Adams, Canada, Mon­tana and var­i­ous loca­tions in the west­ern United States.

Climbers on top of Cowlitz Chimneys

Visit the dig­i­tal col­lec­tion to see what albums are avail­able online!

J. Willis Sayre Photographic Collection – now online

The J. Willis Sayre Pho­to­graph col­lec­tion doc­u­ments the per­form­ing arts in the United States from the late 1800s to the 1950s. The col­lec­tion of more than 24,000 images is espe­cially rich in pho­tographs of vaude­ville per­form­ers and their acts.

J. Willis Sayre donated the col­lec­tion to the UW Libraries in the 1940s. He amassed a sig­nif­i­cant col­lec­tion of pho­tographs through his work as a drama critic and show busi­ness pro­moter. This notable fig­ure in Seat­tle his­tory actively pro­moted and doc­u­mented almost every aspect of the per­form­ing arts in the city as a critic, his­to­rian, and participant.
Visit the online col­lec­tion at

Many Paths, Many Voices: Oral Histories

The Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton Spe­cial Col­lec­tions began col­lect­ing oral his­to­ries in the 1960s as part of an effort to doc­u­ment the his­tory and cul­ture of our regional eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties. Oral his­to­ri­ans recorded inter­views with mem­bers of the Scan­di­na­vian Amer­i­can, African Amer­i­can, Japan­ese Amer­i­can, and Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties in Seat­tle and Wash­ing­ton State. Later, this effort broad­ened to doc­u­ment the North­west arts com­mu­nity and spawned new projects such as the North Cas­cades His­tory Project. Today, these oral his­to­ries rep­re­sent the bulk of an ever-growing col­lec­tion and stand as a rich resource for researchers from a vari­ety of fields.

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