(I’m working on trying to to tie my library job and former archive studies into this blog a bit.)
Last night the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle hosted Moving History Returns: Saving Our Magnetic Media, presented by Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS).
These 20 clips and short films were from the Seattle Municipal Archives, Sally Sykes Group, Scarecrow Video, the Wing Luke Museum, Seattle Public Schools Archives, King County Archives, Seattle Art Museum, and the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. The videos were apart of MIPoPS’s digitization project – most of the original formats were in 16mm, Hi8, and VHS.
Although I’ve gone into library work and haven’t been involved in the archives world at all since I graduated, screenings like this remind me why preservation and access is so important – and it’s another step towards feeling linked to the PNW in general.
My favorite video (transferred from 16mm to VHS to digital) was from the King County Archives – Waste Away [The Mole] (1966). This promotional piece was produced by the county and government to showcase its mobile trash compactor (called “The Mole”). Footage of garbage waves and tumbling torn scraps, plus rotating rusty dumpsters, reminded me of the visuals at my old job as a park janitor. It was quite interesting to hear the narrating voice, speaking from 1966, on the awakening awareness of waste disposal and consumerism.