Transfer VHSTransfer VHS-CTransfer DVScan PHOTOGRAPHSScan SLIDESScan PAPERSTransfer AUDIO CASSETTESTransfer 3.5" FLOPPIESSaving and Sharing
Film and VideoPhotographs and Papers
Maintaining an inventoryFile namingFile FormatsStorage
This is the "FAQ" page of the "Memory Lab" guide.
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Memory Lab   Tags: digital preservation, personal archiving  

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Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

FAQ Print Page



I have a limited budget. Can this be scaled down?

Yes. The most popular formats for transfer are slides and VHS tapes, meaning you would need a vhs deck, a scanner, a computer, and a converter at minimum.

Cheaper scanning options: The project Culture-in-Transit has reviewed two cheaper scanner models- the Epson V600 and the Epson V800.

Cheaper deck options: The price of VHS decks and other obsolete playback equipment varies extensively. If purchasing one isn't an option, you could see if anyone in your community could donate a deck they no longer use.

Cheaper converter options: The difference between consumer vs. professional converters (like ours) can be hundreds of dollars. See Vancouver Public Library's Inspiration Lab or Kalamazoo Public Library's The Hub for examples of transfer labs with consumer-grade converters.

Computer prices also vary, but make sure the one you purchase has the minumum operating requirements for your scanner and converter.

How much space will I need?

Our lab is about 12'L x 4'W. Purchasing an A/V rack for verticle storage decreases your footprint.


What human resources do I need?

At a minimum, you will need a volunteer or staff member available to check-in and out patrons and assist them should they run into trouble. Someone also needs to clean the decks regularly, re-calibrate the scanner, and complete software updates.


What formats do you do? What software do you use?

Refer to the "In the Labs" tab for patron workflow information.


For more information on the development of the project, read our fellow's blog at



Other Public Transfer Labs, etc.

Vancouver Public Library's Inspiration Lab

Kalamazoo Public Library's The Hub

Brooklyn Public Library's Info Commons

Indiana University at Bloomington's Scholars Commons Digitization Lab

Georgia Tech Library's RetroTech Program

XFR Collective

Know of another one? Email us at


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