We started the Urban Archives in 2003 as graduate students (in the Information School and the Department of Communication at the University of Washington [UW] in Seattle) interested in urban environments, ethnography, and visual communication. Of particular fascination were ephemeral artifacts that are often overlooked or ignored by institutional collections and by conventional scholarly research about cities. We began gathering our data by exploring the city on foot, observing the everyday images that form Seattle’s cultural landscape in a cacophony of visual signs. Our tools were digital cameras and our early collections consisted of graffiti and ghost signs (the vanishing, old painted advertisements on building façades).