A.S.U.W. Shell House, University of Washington, Circa 1932. Future Rowing Heritage Museum?

A.S.U.W. Shell House, University of Washington, Circa 1932. Future Rowing Heritage Museum?

OVERVIEW. Rowing Archives is a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving rowing history through the restoration and digitization of films, photographs, documents and memorabilia related to the sport. Our mission is to save and curate these rare materials and make them readily available on the internet at no cost to the viewer. We coordinate our work with the Pocock Foundation, the University of Washington Library Special Collections, and other museums, organizations and institutions.

STRATEGY.  Our goal is to build an robust archival website that will house the materials we restore and digitize as soon as we process them. The next step will be to provide these materials for a more substantial Rowing History Website in partnership with other organizations that will provide a more highly curated, guided experience for a wide audience. The final phase will be to provide materials to a brick and mortar Rowing Museum in Seattle, Washington. Our hope is that this museum will be at least partially housed in the A.S.U.W. Shell House on the banks of the Montlake Cut. This building, constructed in 1918, was the home to University of Washington crews from 1919 until 1949 and we are advocating for its restoration and conversion to a rowing museum.

WHAT WE DO. We accept materials from private individuals and institutions and provide a free assessment of their historical value. We then advise the owners about what the best use of the materials are and recommend preservation, storage and options regarding donation of materials to institutions. We then select items with significant historical value, catalog them, restore them if necessary, and duplicate or digitize them to museum standards. The materials are then returned to the owner or forwarded to an institution of their choice for permanent preservation and safekeeping. Here’s a simple breakdown:

1. Individual or organization submits items for assessment.

2. We inspect the materials and determine which we can curate, restore, and reproduce digitally. Depending on quantity and backlog, this can take several weeks to several months.

3. We restore the materials, catalog them with descriptions, assign identification numbers, and digitize them. Documents, photographs, negatives and slides we do in-house on professional grade equipment. Film and videotape is sent out to the lab or production house best suited to process that material. We then edit the video files with appropriate titles and descriptive information. This can also take several weeks to several months.

4. Publication. The materials are made available to view on the Rowing Archives website and other sites. High-quality copies are provided to interested institutions, and they can immediately be put into library and museum online collections because they are cataloged and digitized to their standards. Unless the owner specifies otherwise, everything we process will be made readily available for educational, research and other non-commercial purposes.

USAGE. We do not own these materials, even though we manage licensing rights to many of the materials for the owners. Please contact us if you would like to license any materials you see here or are interested in historic rowing materials that we can seek out for you. All materials are available for research and educational purposes free of charge unless hard copies are required. A fee schedule for commercial use is available on request.

COSTS. We do not charge for our normal services for materials that have historical value and which the owner agrees to share with the public (for non-commercial use only). These efforts are funded by individuals and institutions who recognize the value of our work and we are profoundly grateful for your donations that enable us to save the vast amount of materials we collect before they deteriorate or are lost. We do, however, need donations to restore, scan or digitize materials, because the work is expensive and time-consuming. Submissions that are accompanied by a donation are prioritized.

OTHER SERVICES. We are happy to restore and digitize private collections and materials for commercial projects. We can also produce videos for reunions, events, dedications, memorials and other purposes. We can produce videos and presentation of the highest professional quality or to suit more modest budgets. Please contact us for a rate card or quote for these services.