Marybeth’s Story

Patron sits at a computer station in the REcollection DIY digitization studio at CLP-Main

Marybeth was one of the first patrons to use Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's REcollection Studio shortly after it opened in fall 2017. This free community resource provides all of the tools and software needed to digitize photographs, slides, and documents, as well as audio and video cassettes. Below, she describes the importance of capturing her family's memories in a digital format.

Marybeth’s parents dating in 1952, Pittsburgh, PA (detail)

These photos were found in my parents’s/grandparent’s house stored either in photo albums packed away in a box under a bed, a box of photographs stacked on a bookcase shelf, or slides taken by my grandfather throughout our childhood that ended up with a relative—never to be seen except when family members gathered together. My motivation to scan over 750 family slides, 500 photographs, and 150 documents was to copy them onto formatted discs and provide them to my siblings as a keepsake to share with their families any time they wish. Being the oldest sibling, I have vivid memories and was able to recognize people, places and events in order to label the majority of my digitized copies. There were numerous photos of relatives from past generations, or our parents as young children, that my siblings had never seen and were delighted to have this digitized history.

Marybeth’s grandmother was Captain of the Seton Hill College basketball team. Pictured here with the varsity squad, 1924-1925 (detail)

The copy of the digitized Seton Hill College Women’s Basketball Team of 1924-25 and Setonian articles were given to me by my grandmother as a birthday gift over 40 years ago, as a keepsake of her experience as a student-athlete back in the early 1920’s. She happened to be one of the original founders of this team on which she played, captained and eventually managed. This team will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary fall 2023 and, as a decedent of a player and alum, I am working with Seton Hill University to help with the Centennial Celebration.

Marybeth and her siblings during the family’s annual visit to the Nativity Scene at North Park, 1966 (detail)

The REcollection Studio was an absolute benefit to assist me with creating high quality digital pictures from slides, old photographs (some tin) and written artifacts. This enabled everyone in my family to have their own copy of the digitized collection rather than it being stored away in boxes rarely to be seen, as well as preserving them in a high quality format. The staff of the REcolletion Studio were extremely helpful in guiding me through the digitizing process, which was especially important when the media changed (e.g. from slides to photographs). The REcollection Studio is a valuable addition to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh because it provides a resource to preserve and share meaningful memories of people, places and events originally captured in older, and often fading pictures, slides, articles, and self-made video.

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