(Vintage images from the Jim & John Peterson Collection)
The Digital Media Conversion Lab
The equipment & training necessary to view and digitally preserve family photographs, slides, and film.
As technology rapidly progresses, the medium of personal photography and unique photographic formats has evolved dramatically over the last 30 years. The concept of converting the now antiquated and nearly obsolete for-mats of 8mm film, 35 mm camera negatives, transparency slides, and VHS-C to more stable and practical digital files has become a necessity in the interest of family history and photographic preservation.
The Oscar Grady Public Library’s Digital Media Conversion Lab is a high-functioning digital space and work room. The room is equipped with the necessary digital mechanics to process aging photographic formats.
The equipment available and the training necessary to reserve the digital lab to convert your own family’s personal photographic and film collection to a digital format is provided by the staff of the Oscar Grady Public Library and by a federal grant received by The Institute of Museum & Library Services.
Please read the Digital Media Lab Policy before setting up a time to be trained on the equipment you will be using in the lab. You can either stop in the library to arrange a training session or call at (262)-284-6022
You can access tutorial videos for most of the processes described here by following this link_
The Oscar Grady Library Digital Lab provides HD digital quality scanners which have the ability to digitize photographs as large as 11×17.
The Lab’s scanners have the ability to restore old photographs with technology to enhance faded colors and remove the appearance of scratches.
35mm Camera Negatives
Before cameras went digital, they were processed on 35mm negative film. The Digital Lab also has the equipment necessary to convert 35mm camera negative film to HD digital quality.
2×2 inch transparency slides became the widely popular photographic medium in the 1940’s through the late 1970’s. Their long-lasting public success was based on the notion that photographs could be projected to a much larger size for family viewing.
The Digital Lab has the capability to scan transparency slides and upload them in HD digital quality to a digital USB drive.
VHS & DVD Home Videos
IMPORTANT NOTE: At this point (updated 9/1/2021), our VH/DVD conversion system is out of service, hoping to be restored soon.
If you have home movies saved to VHS or DVD the Oscar Grady Library’s Digital Lab has the equipment to not only upgrade these formats to digital USB files but the format can also be up-converted to HD digital quality.
*Note: copyright law prohibits copying commercial VHS or DVD titles.
Super-8mm, 8mm & 16mm Film
Super-8mm, 8mm and 16mm film was used mostly in the 1960’s and ‘70’s and became the innovative format of family home movie making.The Oscar Grady Public Library Digital Lab can now convert this format to a digital USB drive.
Hand-held Camcorder Home Videos (VHS-C)
At this time (9/16/2020), the VHS-C conversion capability is temporarily out of order until further notice.
During the 1980’s the VHS camcorder became the go-to method for making home videos.
The Oscar Grady Public Library Digital Lab is now able to not only upgrade this format to digital USB files but the format can also be up-converted to HD digital quality.