June 16, 2014

Grays Harbor Happenings Wins Multiple Awards

By arosette
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)