Husky Reels

Preservation of UW Athletics Film and Video from 1928-early 2000s

Imagine the year is 2009…

Hannah Palin, Film Archives Specialist at the UW Libraries Special Collections, gets a call tipping her that there are hundreds of reels of UW athletics film stored in Husky Stadium. She'd 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. She was led to a storeroom off Aisle 50 by Husky Athletics staff. When the door opened, boxes of film and stacks of videotape shared space with leaf blowers, old programs and a family of raccoons!

That summer just prior to stadium renovations, Husky Athletics transferred 3,000 reels of 16mm film to Special Collections.  Since then, another 5,000 videotapes joined this collection, now safely housed at and under the care of UW Libraries’ offsite facility.

Why are these nearly 8,000 films and videotapes important?

This collection records the proud history and tradition of Husky Athletics from the 1920s to the 2000s. Collectively, each ‘clip’ reveals remarkable stories about student athletes who might have never journeyed to the University of Washington without their involvement in intercollegiate athletics.

Today, we need your help!

To date, $330,000 raised from private donors is only enough to complete a detailed inventory and condition assessment of these important materials. An additional $800,000 is needed to preserve and provide access to the games, practices, and promotional films recording almost 80 years of Husky sports.

Special Collections has the passion and the expertise to save these fragile materials from further deterioration, but without funding, this precious and unique visual legacy of Husky Sports will be gone forever.

With your help, UW Libraries Special Collection can continue to save these fragile materials from further deterioration! Additional funds are needed for preservation ($620,000) and to make selected footage available for online viewing ($175,000).

or call 206-543-5458 for details about how to Adopt-a-HUSKY REEL for a pledge of as little as four annual payments of $250!

Questions: email uwlibs@uw.edu or call 206-543-5458.