Vintage Media Lab

Vintage Media Lab

Preserve your old photographs, home movies, records and cassettes.

How to Access

  1. Please fill out the form below and we will contact you to schedule your two-hour appointment slot.
  2. Each appointment includes a skilled volunteer to assist you. Appointments are limited to a single two-hour appointment per week per person.
  3. Because space and time in the Vintage Media Lab is limited, we appreciate your cooperation in regard to equipment, storage and cleanliness.

What to Bring

  • Laptop
  • SD Card, Memory Card
  • USB Drive, Flash Drive or Memory Stick
  • External Hard Drive
  • Your Vintage Media!
The lab has equipment to digitize slides, VHS Tapes, 8mm Video Tapes (Video8/Hi8/Handycam), Super 8 or 8mm Movie Film, Photos, Cassettes, Vinyl Albums
The lab has equipment to digitize slides, VHS Tapes, 8mm Video Tapes (Video8/Hi8/Handycam), Super 8 or 8mm Movie Film, Photos, Cassettes, Vinyl Albums

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Everything in the Vintage Media Lab is free to use and was purchased through a Pacific Library Partnership grant in 2019! In other words, the only direct cost to you is the amount of time it takes to finish your digitization project.
  • Photos slides: 30 slides per minute, or about 1 slide every 2 seconds. Your pre-sorted 80 slide carousel filled to the brim with photos can take as little as 3 minutes from start to finish.

    Photo prints: Our Epson FastFoto scanner can batch scan 35 photos at a time and takes about 1 second per photo.

    VHS and 8mm Video (Video8/Hi8/Handycam): This happens in real-time. 2 hours of video will take 2 hours to digitized.

    Super 8 or 8mm Movie Film: Approximately 35 minutes for a small reel of film (~50ft).

  • We have an automated slide scanner and DSLR camera rig that makes this a fast and easy process. Follow these 4 steps before visiting the library with your vintage photos to make it even faster and easier.

    1. Make sure your slides are clean. Dust is the enemy of a good scan, and this is especially true with cardboard slides that have been sitting idle for many years.
    2. Preload your slide carousels. We recommend 80 slot slide carousel versus 140 slot carousels, which tend to jam our machine.
    3. Turn your slides so they're horizontal or "landscape" oriented. This is a small extra step but will make sure our camera captures the full image.
    4. Flip your slides so the "shiny" side of the slide is facing forward. Like #3 before, this is possible to fix later in photo editing software, but getting it right the first time can save you time.

Registration Form

* indicates a required field
  • Name * Required
  • Which types of vintage media do you want to digitize? * Required
  • Include quantities as well as how long footage may be on your tapes. For example: I have 2 VHS Tapes (about 1 hour of footage) that I would like to digitize.
  • Where will you save your digital files? * Required
    Please note you will need to bring USB Stick/Thumb Drive to save your files. We cannot save or store your digital files between visits.
  • Scheduling * Required
    This is not a direct reservation. We will write back to confirm your 1-3 hour Vintage Media Lab reservation based on your time preference and our available equipment.
  • What is the earliest Wednesday you would like to begin?
    Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Is this your first request to use the lab? * Required
  • By submitting this form, I acknowledge the following:

    I understand that appointments are 1 to 3 hours long and I will not be able to digitize a large amount of items. I can schedule another appointment to come back.

    I understand that I cannot leave my items at the library to be digitized by the staff/volunteers. I will be present while my items are being digitized, and I will take all my items with me when I leave. The library is not responsible for the loss or damage to my items.

    I understand that my items must be organized. Photos need to have been sorted through, VHS tapes and other items need to be clean and dusted. Volunteers will not help you with organizing, sorting, or cleaning.

    I understand that some equipment may be harder on some formats, and that my items can be susceptible to damage. The library is not responsible for any damage incurred on my items.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Location

This library services is part of the new ReBoot Room located on the 2nd floor of Mitchel Park Library. We thank the Pacific Library Partnership for their grant which made purchasing this equipment possible.

Open today until 9:00pm

Monday 
Closed

Tuesday 
10:00AM - 9:00PM

Wednesday 
10:00AM - 9:00PM

Thursday 
10:00AM - 9:00PM

Friday 
12:00PM - 6:00PM

Saturday 
12:00PM - 6:00PM

Sunday 
Closed

3700 Middlefield Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Mitchell Park Library is part of a new joint library & community center facility, serving diverse community needs. The lively space includes public art and supports a wide array of library programming.
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