UW Libraries - Husky Reels
In 2009, the UW Libraries received a call that there were hundreds of UW athletics film reels stored in Husky Stadium. Staff had heard rumors about these films – that they were under the scoreboard, that they were in the bowels of the stadium, that they were lost forever.
But they were real and they were in a storeroom off Aisle 50, where boxes of film and stacks of videotape shared space with leaf blowers, old programs and a family of raccoons!
That summer, Husky Athletics transferred 3,000 reels of 16mm film to the Libraries Special Collections. Since then, another 5,000 videotapes joined this collection, now safely housed at and under the care of UW Libraries’ offsite facility.
Now, we are seeking to raise $7,500 for the films that need the most care and attention – those that are in the very worst shape. This money will fund student workers and the materials needed to process, preserve, and eventually digitize these fragile pieces of Husky history.
How Your Support Will Help
With this campaign, we are focusing on the 300 films and tapes that need the most "love."
There are 68 incredibly damaged films. Most appear to be football and basketball from 1938-1981, but there are some films that we can't even tell. The description of the damage includes mold, water damage, warped, mechanical damage, blocked, rust, and even evidence of insects.
There are an additional 227 films that are in desperate need of attention. These are from 1948-1984 and are mostly, again, football and basketball. These are blocked (a result of water damage), have mechanical damage, have been held together with masking tape, and all of them need to be re-housed.
Your support will fund student wages (providing students a unique experience in film preservation!), rehousing materials, and equipment maintenance that are necessary to ensure these reels don't disappear from Husky history forever.
Why This Matters
Husky Reels is a multi-year project to preserve and make accessible the content of this invaluable collection through a comprehensive online collection guide, a public database of items in the collection and a selection of Husky highlights featured on the UW Libraries Digital Collection site. Researchers, students, scholars and Husky fans alike will be able to search and for and view moments in UW sports that have been unseen for decades.
For generations to come, Husky Reels films and videos will be available to the general public. A selection of important or rare moments in Husky athletic history will be available for online viewing by current athletes, UW alumni, and intercollegiate athletic fans everywhere.
Please help us preserve your Husky history by making a gift to Husky Reels TODAY!
More information is available at http://www.lib.washington.edu/support/needs/husky-reels.
With just a few HOURS LEFT in our Husky Reels campaign, I am thrilled to report that we reached our initial goal! We are so very grateful to our incredible community of Huskies.
But don’t worry – if you want to be a part of the supporters section, you can still make a difference and add to our pot of gold! In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we are asking all of our Purple and Gold fans to show us the GREEN by making a gift before our campaign ends at 9am tomorrow (Friday).
How do gifts of all sizes make a difference in this project?
* funding student employees learning how to preserve film and video
* saving history of Husky women and men athlete, who in turn learned valuable teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills that they leveraged into real-life community work and careers
Help Husky Reels continue to exceed its goal by making a gift of any size at our page:
In just the few hours left, please consider making another gift and/or forward this note on to others who can help. The key is that the cumulative effect of many gifts, advances the vital work of this project.
Thank you very much for your help and support! GO HUSKIES!
Q. What inspires your work with the Husky Reels Films?
A. What motivates me when working with Husky Reels is that these materials are a part of the historical record of the University of Washington and they haven't seen the light of day in decades. I feel a very deep sense of responsibility that these films and videotapes should be preserved and made accessible to scholars, athletes, and fans of University of Washington athletics. These games mean so much to so many people. They need to be preserved for generations to come.
Q. What are the most urgent needs for the collection?
A. There are a number of severely deteriorated films that need to be assessed and, if possible, restored. We’re also facing what has come to be known as the Magnetic Media Crisis. Videotape is deteriorating, the decks are breaking down without the possibility of being repaired, and the expertise to work with analog magnetic media is rapidly fading away. If we don't tackle our video and audiotape soon, it will be lost forever.
Q. Can you walk us through a typical repair?
A. First, we assess the condition of a reel of film by looking at whether it’s warped, shrunken, scratched, or damaged in any way. Then we put the reel up on winds and scroll through the entire reel. If there are any breaks or tears, we repair that section with splicing tape and often replace the leader. We also write down the content of the reel at this point, making sure that if the label on the can said that it was football, the reel itself is not actually a basketball game, or if it's supposed to be the Apple Cup, it's not a game with Oregon!
When we've looked through the entire reel, we run it through a cleaning solution that helps remove surface dirt and lubricates the film, then wind it onto an archival core. We put the cleaned and cored reel into an archival can and test the film for deterioration using AD strips that measure the amount of acetic acid being off-gassed by the film. 24 hours later, we check the AD strips, label the leader and the can and put it safely on a shelf. The cleaning process takes an average of one hour, although some films can be in such bad condition that it might take 3-5 hours to complete a reel.
Q. What’s the craziest footage you’ve come across in this collection?
A. We've found some silly things like a recording of a local kids’ television show and a copy of Land of the Lost, but my favorite has been the recruiting films of the 1960s and 1970s. You get a perfect snapshot of campus life during that time.
Q. If you could share one great thing about the collection, what would it be?
A. I’m really excited by the women's sports represented in the collection and am looking forward to being able to make those accessible to the public at some point. Another wonderful thing about the collection is that there are so many stories waiting to be told. I'm looking forward to the day when researchers can start mining this material.
We are almost halfway to our $7,500 goal, leaving us with just over $4000 to go! With two weeks left we are excited and inspired by the generosity shown throughout our campaign.
Many thanks to all of you for your financial, verbal, and social support- we couldn't do it without you!
Let's keep the momentum going! Check out this great video and share with your friends.
Eryn Boyles Ilk
Susan L Williams
Bob and Mimi Porad
The USEED Team
Mike and Tricia Heffernan
Sylvester Cann IV
David and Marcie Stone
5 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "UW Libraries - Husky Reels".
Make an Impact
Don't let the raccoons win! They lived among the Reels under Husky Stadium, and every gift, no matter the size, will help save these films from extinction.
Throw your Dubs Up - you're making a difference by sponsoring supplies needed to make these films accessible.
Be proud of your Husky heritage and help rehouse in-need reels.
You're an all-star. Your gift will help purchase the necessary materials and supplies so students can dig deep into the preservation process.
Run with the pack and support a student who is preserving these fragile pieces of history. BONUS: Give at this level and be entered to win the 4-DVD collector's set "Greatest Moments at Husky Stadium."
Husky Reels Hall of Fame
You're a legend. Your gift will touch all parts of the process: students, materials, rehousing, everything! BONUS: Donors at this level will be entered to win a football signed by the 2015 Husky football team.