From the Dean of Libraries - Spring 2013

Grays Harbor Happenings: The Newsreels of C.D. Anderson - documentary and digitized reels

On a sunny Saturday in early March, a minivan full of Libraries staff drove to Hoquiam, Washington, to witness a stellar example of a community partnership, preservation, and the thoughtful use of Libraries collections and resources to bring history full circle.

Grays Harbor Happenings: The Newsreels of C.D. Anderson, co-produced by Libraries and UWTV, masterfully wove amateur newsreels from the 1920s and interviews with current residents and historians. Through director Ann Coppel's undying curiosity about the history and people of the region, she created a time machine of stories for all of us who sat, transfixed, in the dark theatre (also from the 1920s) for this world premiere.

The subjects of these 53 film reels, shot by Hoquiam’s C.D. Anderson, were not movie stars or business tycoons, but his fellow residents participating in everyday activities: playing in a park, participating in a fire drill, or felling trees in a dense forest.

Those reels are now digitized and available for viewing on the Libraries website.

Preservation, creation of the documentary, and the premiere are thanks to the support of many partners, including the Apex Foundation, the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation, the Aberdeen Museum of History, the Polson Museum, the 7th Street Theatre, the UW Alumni Association and UWTV.

Whether you live in the state of Washington or thousands of miles away, I hope you take a moment to savor the here and now, and take a few minutes to appreciate and document your daily activities – you never know who might enjoy them decades from now!

The history of the state of Washington, of our people, of industry and business, is rich and varied, and when the Libraries can play a part, not just in its preservation, but for further storytelling or research, we are honored to step forward to fulfill our mission of “connecting people with knowledge.”

Read more in the Libraries' Spring 2013 e-news.

- Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson

Spring 2013