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Project Memory: Your old photos and home movies transferred to digital

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Dana Mannino

Is your family history collecting dust in a closet? Have a box of slides from Grandpa’s 1978 trip to Europe? How about those little 8mm film reels in their tiny cardboard boxes?

If you have photos, film reels, or slides stashed away, now is the time to pull them out!

Perhaps Mom’s birthday is coming up, and you want to make a digital slide show out of family photos for her. The Library District can help with that!

We have launched Project Memory, a new service available at our North Spokane and Spokane Valley Libraries. This project includes the tools, and equipment to transfer your home photos and videos to more modern formats. It also includes librarians and library staff who know how to use the equipment and can show you how.

You can make an appointment online with a librarian to learn how to work on your own memory project with our Book-a-Librarian service.

During your appointment, a library staff person will show you how to use the library’s equipment to convert your photos, videos, film, and sound recordings to digital files on the computer. Once you feel comfortable with the machines, you can schedule additional times to come in use them independently. Come in as often as you need to until your project is done.

We can help you convert the following formats:


  • Printed photos
  • 35mm slides
  • 35mm film
  • Medium format film (120)

Home Movies & Video

  • 8mm and Super 8
  • Hi8 (all generations)
  • VHS (conversion to DVD only)

Sound Recordings

  • Cassette tapes
  • CDs
  • Records (LPs, etc.)

Not sure what format your memories are in? Check out this handy guide from the National Archives. Still not sure? Bring a sample of your media to the library, and we will do our best to identify it together.

Sadly, there’s a limit to everything. We currently cannot help you transfer the following formats:

  • 16mm video film
  • MiniDV video cassettes

But stay tuned! We hope to purchase equipment that can handle these in the future.

Project Memory is intended to help you transfer your personal recordings and photos to new formats for personal use. Replicating copyrighted materials, such as popular CDs or commercially made VHS tapes, is a violation of federal copyright law, in most cases. Librarians will not help you reproduce anything that appears to be commercially produced media.

For you techies out there, here is a list of our Project Memory equipment.

  • Wolverine Film2digital MovieMaker: Converts 8mm and Super8 film to MP4 files
  • Toshiba DVR620KU DVD/VHS Recorder: Converts personal VHS to DVD
  • HamiltonBuhl AudioStar Boombox: Converts cassettes and CDs to MP3 files
  • CanoScan 9000F Mark II: Converts photos and film to JPG or PDF formats to produce high quality scans at 4800 to 9600 dpi/ppi
  • Epson FastFoto FF-640 High-speed Photo Scanning System: Converts physical photos to JPG files and can scan up to 33 photos per minute

If you have boxes full of photos, reels of film, or VHS tapes sitting in a closet or storage, then consider getting started with Project Memory today! It only takes a couple minutes to Book a Librarian.

Just think, when you are done with your own memory project at the library, you’ll have so much to share with friends and loved ones right to their devices!

Dana Mannino

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