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The King County Archives is delighted to be participating in a second archival screening night at the Northwest Film Forum, hosted by Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS). The event takes place on Friday, February 17 (doors open at 7pm, showtime is at 8pm) and promises to offer an interesting and entertaining mix, with contributions from the Sally Sykes Group, Scarecrow Video, the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Schools, the Wing Luke Museum, the Seattle Municipal Archives, the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, and the King County Archives.

The screening will feature videos that have been converted from analog formats to digital for preservation and access using equipment, software, and expertise provided by MIPoPS. The King County Archives is fortunate to be a MIPoPS partner, allowing us to conserve our at-risk archival videos.

Why digitize video?

Videotape — magnetic media like Betacam, VHS, and Umatic — in many cases is the original format of moving image recordings dating from the 1970s into the 1990s.  In other cases, videotaped copies are our only versions of original film. These materials are increasingly at risk, as magnetic tape deteriorates over time. Sadly, we have already discovered one significant tape in the King County Archives collection that has become unplayable.

King County’s Waste Away

At the February 17th screening, we will be contributing a shortened version of Waste Away (1966) a lighthearted and optimistic look at advances in solid waste management. The film captures a time when public awareness was just beginning to form around the problem of garbage in a consumer society.

Above: stills (Adam and Eve, early waste management, and illegal dumping) from Waste Away, 1966.
Below: animated gif created from stills (engineer designing “The Mole”).

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The Mole

Waste Away highlights King County’s experimental mobile trash-compactor, affectionately known as “The Mole.” Sold at auction in the early 1970s, the Mole is rumored to have been purchased by George Lucas’s film company and to have served as the model and/or inspiration for the Star Wars Tatooine sandcrawlers.

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Sandcrawler

Top: The Mole. Series 400, Department of Transportation, Road Services: Photograph and Moving Image Files, Box 57, #1316, ref ID 400.123.70. King County Archives. Bottom: Tatooine Sandcrawler from Star Wars (Image courtesy of Wookieepedia: The Star Wars Wiki).

Get your tickets!

Advance warning: the October 2016 Archival Screening Night at the Northwest Film Forum sold out.

We hope to see you there!

Event details