UW News

October 8, 2009

There’s something fishy going on–but what is it? Help the library identify this week’s Lost and Found Film

Editor’s Note: The UW Audio Visual Services Materials Library has more than 1,200 reels of film from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, documenting life at the University through telecourses, commercial films and original productions. Some of the short films are easily identifiable, but many more remain mysteries. Who shot these films and why? Can you help answer those questions? Faculty and staff can use the comments field at the end of the story to send ideas. Those outside the University can e-mail filmarc@u.washington.edu.

This week’s film, which was shot in about 1970, is about that Northwest icon, the salmon. Salmon Research is just over a minute and begins with an aerial shot of the campus. Then it quickly switches to a boat moving past the Montlake Bridge and Husky Stadium. Men on deck drop a net into the water.

Next we see a man wearing headphones and working with recording equipment. There is a reel-to-reel tape deck inside a box and a paper on which are seen squiggly lines, as on a seismograph. Then we see small fish in a porcelain bowl, and the clip wraps up with a shot of Mt. Rainier taken from the deck.

UW Film Archives Specialist Hannah Palin would like to know what kind of work is being done with the salmon, and specifically, what is being recorded on the tape deck. She’d also like to know why there is an aerial shot of campus at the beginning of the film, why the film was done and how it was used.

A tip from a reader has led Palin to speculate that last week’s film, Trash, was shot at Woodland Park Zoo “near the old ‘umbrella’ exhibit that used to house seals and/or ducks.” She’d still like to know more about the study being depicted.

But for now, take a look at Salmon Research and let us know if you can shed any light on its origins.