Welcome to Beyond Scope and Content. This podcast series from the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, and funded by the Friends of the Library will take you on a journey into the hidden stories of women filmmakers in the Film Archive.


Beyond Scope and Content: Hidden Histories from the Film Archive is a project intended to surface stories from the moving image collections held by the UW Libraries, Special Collections through a series of podcasts and screenings. The goal is to engage faculty and students, historians and film enthusiasts, in the compelling visual history of the Pacific Northwest. 

While there are a number of fascinating tales in the moving image archives, those of women filmmakers and artists are most in need of attention. The goal of this project is to focus on the collections of three prolific and talented women from the Northwest. Doris Chase, Ruth Kirk, and Jean Walkinshaw all deserve to have their work brought to the attention of the public for further research and study. There is a special poignancy to this project because celebrations for the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage have been dampened thanks to the pandemic this would be a perfect showcase for Libraries’ collections focusing on women from our region. 

Doris Chase (1923-2008) was an American painter and member of the Northwest School. She was also a teacher, and sculptor, but is best remembered for video art exploring the intersection of dance, movement and the inner life of women. Ruth Kirk (1925-2018), a writer and photographer, made films and television programs with her husband Louis, exploring the wonders of the natural world. Her work also documented an archeological dig at Neah Bay and the intricate relationship between the Makah and the scientists working on the decades-long excavation. Jean Walkinshaw (1926- ) is an award-winning television producer who spent her career profiling important cultural figures from the Pacific Northwest, such as Tom Robbins, George Tsutakawa, Guy Anderson and Roberta Byrd. 


If you would like to explore the collections of these filmmakers, check out these resources. Videos from the Ruth and Louis Kirk Moving Image Collection are available on the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections site, and videos from the Doris Chase video and art collection are available on the Internet Archive. A substantial body of Jean Walkinshaw’s work has been brought together into a new collection created by the Archives of American Public Broadcasting. Be sure to visit the Jean Walkinshaw Collection to see her public television documentaries. Additional material will be made available in the future through the Internet Archive. 

To learn more about these collections, check out the collections guides here:

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