Records and Licensing
About the Archives/Contact Us
Copy and Service Fees
Save To PDF
Save To CSV
Photograph and moving image files
Agency Name :
Transportation, Department of: Road Services Division
Reference ID :
Series Date(s) :
This series contains visual materials created or collected by the Road Services Division and its predecessor agencies, the Department of Public Works and the County Engineer, between approximately 1900 and 2002. Most material dates from the years 1910-1920, 1932-1934, 1938-1941, and 1954-2002. Robert Brittain, staff photographer (later head of photographic services) for the Department of Public Works (1968-1997) was primarily responsible for the present form of the collection. It comprises three components:
(1) Photographic material removed from engineering project files (c.1900-1960) and maintained as a photographic reference collection by Mr. Brittain. This material includes black-and-white prints, negatives, and glass slides. Some glass slides were hand-colored. Principal collection topics include road, bridge, and wharf construction and maintenance; drainage and sewer projects; railroad crossings; county structures; and documentation of events (for example, floods, landslides, vehicle accidents). Projects funded in the 1930s and 1940s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) are documented, including construction of King County's field houses. All materials have been divided by photographic format, then arranged in ascending numerical order by individual item numbers supplied by Archives staff.
(2) Master file of project photographs maintained by the County Engineer's office (1958-1969), the Department of Public Works (1970-1996), and the Department of Transportation (1996-2002). Ground and aerial photographs document county public works during this time period: Boeing Field (King County Airport); road and bridge construction and maintenance; traffic engineering; and, until 1996, surface water management, flood control, solid waste management and recycling. Photographs of departmental employees and events are also present. Format types include color and black and white negatives, contact sheets, prints, and color slides. Photos are arranged in an ascending agency number sequence (1-6000) which approximates chronological order. Not all format types are present for each master file number.
(3) Additional photographic and moving image materials maintained by the Road Services Division and its predecessors, 1960-2002. These materials were either never attached to the department's master file numbering system, or were once attached but are not presently cross-referenced to it. Format types include photographic prints, negatives, 35mm slides, and contact sheets; videotapes (Beta, U-Matic and VHS formats); and moving image film. A small number of audiotape narrations for slide shows are also present. The photographic materials are arranged by subject or date when present or identifiable. The moving image materials, many of which bear little or no identification, have been grouped by their administrative office of origin. The materials in this series were transferred to the King County Archives in 1997 and 2001. The 1997 accession was processed as a collection of individual, separate items. The 2001 accession was processed to retain, wherever possible, original agency collective arrangement by project or photographic session. Different photographic formats, housed separately, retained a unifying arrangement through a project (master file) number. The master file number served as an item level identifier across photographic formats that were physically separated but intellectually related. Primary description was undertaken for negatives, when present, with additional description taken as needed from other formats. Not all formats are present for all images. The series file contains two finding aids: a list of colorized glass slides, and lists of historical images, copied from other repositories' collections, relating to the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.