The website looseleafservices.us started in March 2013 as a joint effort by Garrick Imatani and Kaia Sand. It was designed and developed by Sasha Burchuk. Looseleafservices.us is a website for the Watcher Files Project which is managed by Regional Arts and Culture Council. It is a project by the City of Portland Percent for Art.
The Watcher Files is a collection of surveillance documents of civic groups and activists from the 60s to the 80s. They belong to the City of Portland Archives and Records Center. The Percent for Art program funds this initiative.
History of looseleafservices.us
From the 1960s to the 1980s, social movements in Oregon started and began to transform the nation. All kinds of protests were made about race, gender, equality, and the degradation of the environment. These civic movements began to shape the state’s economy, politics, and society.
An Oregon law made it illegal for organizations to be monitored without being linked to criminal investigations back in 1981. Any files collected prior to that were scheduled for systematic liquidation. The lead detective conducting the surveillance, Winfield Falk, stole 36 boxes of files and hid them in a barn. He died from a heart attack in 1987.
15 years later, those boxes were donated to the Portland Tribune newspaper. They ran a series (and created the term “Watcher Files”) which caught the attention of City Archivists, who then set the legal foundations to acquire the documents for the city. The files that were saved contain information on 301 different organizations.
The City Archivists who saved the files were awarded for the work they did and thus started the looseleafservice.us website to house the saved files. They are also looking at surveillance documents collected by the Portland Police Bureau over a 30-year period from the ‘60s to the ‘80s.
Services on Looseleafservices Website
On the landing page of the website, you will see reports that are from the archived surveillance files. These reports include photos and a description of the situation that was observed. You can read about the available files on the website or you can also download a PDF copy of the files.
One example of a report you can read on the website is entitled, “So He Raised His Hand” which is a series of poems that emerged from conversations with Lloyd Marbet. These poems talk about the activism that helped free Oregon from nuclear power plants. The state was able to free itself from these environmental hazards through the successful protests of its residents. You can download a copy of these poems on the website.
You can also go to the reports page on the website to see a detailed description of the photos. Like the one about Lloyd Marbet who is one of the leaders of the protests against the nuclear power plants being made in the state. There are also other photos that you can explore on the site at your own pace.
You can also read news about updates on The Watcher Files Project, including upcoming exhibition dates, performances, and new works related to the project. The reports archived on the website mostly cover activists and civic groups’ movements around the 1960s to the 1980s. They have a wide variety of interesting files that you can download or read during the exhibition.
Looseleafservices.us also has links where you can read more about certain reports on the website. There are links to their upcoming shows and new updates about the archived files. You can also explore the website for more information about these photos. The website is simple and easy to navigate. If you are interested in reading archived history like these, you can visit their website looseleafservices.us.
About Portland, Oregon
The City of Portland is the biggest city in the state of Oregon. It is also the biggest in the state in terms of land area. It is the 25th most populated city in the United States. Portland is actually named after Portland, Maine, and began its settlement around the 1830s. Its major contributor to the early economy was its timber industry as well as its waters being accessible for convenient transport of goods.
In its early years, Portland had a reputation of being one of the most dangerous port cities in the world. It used to be a hotspot for organized crimes and racketeering. Only after its industrial boom during World War II did the city’s reputation for being dangerous, dissipated. Portland became noted for its progressive political values in the 1960s.
The city of Portland lies above an extinct volcanic field known as “Boring Lava Field”. The field has about 32 cinder cones which include Mount Tabor, and its center field is in Southeast Portland. A highly active volcano, Mount St. Helens is also visible from Portland on clear days.
Portland is also known as the “City of Roses” because of the climate that it has, which is good for growing roses. Summers are usually warm and dry in the city while winters are rainy and cool.