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Mountaineers Film Collection

Explore Collection

1928 Summer Outing 1. Celebration in a meadow
(film still)

The Mountaineers Film Collection is a unique collection of over 400 films related to mountaineering in the West, produced between 1927 and 1970, by members of the Mountaineers, an outdoor recreation club founded in 1906 and that is still active in the Pacific Northwest.

From the beginning, the Mountaineers combined communal outdoor recreation and exploration with engagement in social and political movements, such as environmentalism, conservation, and women's rights. Founding and subsequent members of the organization included influential scholars, educators, artists and business leaders from the region's pioneer communities. The Mountaineers' strong sense of community engagement and care for the natural world created a group whose members over time have been instrumental in conservation efforts, development of mountain safety and mountain rescue programs and techniques, and the creation of national parks. In addition, activities of the members spurred the creation of a specialty press, The Mountaineers Books, and the forming of a theatrical society, the Mountaineer Players.


This is Self Arrest, 1967
(film still)

The Mountaineers Film collection consists of original 35mm, 16mm and 8mm films produced by Mountaineers members over five decades. Some of the filmmakers include Bob and Ira Spring, Dwight Watson, and Charles and Marion Hessey. The collection contains amateur and professional films documenting climbs and expeditions, recreational and social activities, political activism relating to conservation of the natural landscape, the development of mountain rescue techniques, and the performance of outdoor theater. The films were donated by the Mountaineers as a single group of materials and were later divided into four discrete collections (Bob and Ira Spring Films, The Mountaineers Film Collection, Dwight Watson Films, and Charles and Marion Hessey Films) to better reflect the content and filmmakers.

This digital collection is comprised of a selection of short clips taken from the original films. The clips were taken from transfers of original film materials funded by the Mountaineers Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

1930 Outing Puyallup Glacier from Klapatchee to Sunset Park
1930 Outing Puyallup Glacier
from Klapatchee to Sunset Park
. (film still)

About the Database

This digital collection was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division in 2013 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mountaineers Foundation and the Mountain Rescue Council. The films were originally donated to the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as a single group of materials and were later divided into four smaller collections. As a result, clips were selected from the Mountaineers Film Collection (PH Coll 1047), Bob and Ira Spring Films (PH Coll 1048), Dwight Watson Films (PH Coll 1049) and Charles and Marion Hessey Films (PH Coll 1050). The selection of films was made by Hannah Palin and the research and descriptive data was prepared by Sheila Mitchell. Films were imported into Final Cut Pro using master files and DVDs created from Mini DV, DVCam, and DigiBeta transfers of original 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8mm films. 1-10 minute files were created using Quicktime and linked with descriptive metadata.


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