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Past Event

SAM History, Digitally Preserved

Jun 20 2019

Seattle Art Museum

Nordstrom Lecture Hall

7 PM – 9 PM

Join us for a fascinating look at the Seattle Art Museum's and the Seattle art community's past through historic video materials.

For the past three years, the SAM Research Libraries have focused on a long-term project to preserve and make accessible thousands of historic audio and video materials produced by SAM or related directly to it. SAM's Historic Media Collection is home to a rich body of archival material documenting key moments in the history of the museum and of the Pacific Northwest. This screening provides an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the initial items that have been digitized and share them with the public.

This screening will focus on materials in our collection related to the rich history of Asian and Asian-American art in our community, along with a focus on the Seattle Asian Art Museum in anticipation of its re-opening in the fall of 2019.

Preserving historic video formats, including film and a variety of magnetic tape formats, is a daunting challenge and the SAM Research Libraries have been partnering with two important local organizations in pursuit of digitizing, preserving, and making accessible to the public, thousands of video materials from the Historic Media Collection: Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS)/Seattle Municipal Archives and the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.

Following the video presentation, there will be a Q&A session featuring

  • Traci Timmons, Librarian, and Marie Williams Chant, Historic Media Collection Coordinator from the Seattle Art Museum Research Libraries
  • Rachel Price, Executive Director; Libby Hopfauf, Program Manager/Audiovisual Archivist; and Ari Lavigne, Assistant Audiovisual Archivist/Metadata Specialist from Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS)/Seattle Municipal Archives
  • Hannah Palin, Moving Image Curator from the UW Libraries, Special Collections

Be prepared to come away not only with knowledge about SAM's and the Seattle art community's past, but also with an understanding of why this media needs to be preserved and saved. Note: some video selections contain mature content.

For more information or to ask questions about this project, contact

This event is made possible as part of a 4Culture Heritage Collections Care Grant.

Image from digitized 16mm film, circa 1953 [photographer unknown].

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.