September 28, 2011

Lost & Found Films: ‘Coulee Cleanup, Outtakes

This film, shot in 1937, shows a number of scenes of a community cleanup, apparently in Grand Coulee City, Wash. An abandoned car is moved to back of a flatbed truck, people paint a house and young boys burn debris in a field. Theres a sign in the window of a store, indicating that it will open late. “Were out breaking our backs, tearing down old shacks. Cleaning up our city,” it says.

This is one of hundreds of reels of film that Hannah Palin, film archives specialist with UW Libraries Special Collections, is trying to identify for archiving purposes. She has film clips from the late 1930s through the 1970s — some from research projects, some from campus events and some from commercial films or original productions.

This reel was found in the UW Audio Visual Services Materials Library, but no one knows for sure if it was shot by anyone at the University. “Its pretty easy to identify the activity — townspeople cleaning up abandoned cars, falling-down shacks, and various debris, presumably left during construction of the Grand Coulee dam — but we are looking for any information or stories that will confirm this assumption,” Palin said. “Also, were interested to learn if theres any connection between this film and the University.”

If you can answer these questions or provide any other information about the film, please write your comment below.  When UW Today presented earlier films from Special Collections, readers provided important information, and Palin hopes shell get a similar response now.

Previous Lost & Found Films:

Some previous Lost and Found Films:

June 30: Campus Color, circa 1940-48

July 6: Research at Sea

July 14: Aberdeen Gathering

July 21: Palo Alto Home

Aug 4: University District, circa 1965

Aug. 11: The American Dream

Aug. 18: Kazakh Reel 6

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