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Recollection Studio

A DIY Digitization Lab at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh believes that our community's history and culture is important and worth preserving! The Recollection Studio is our commitment to preserving our neighborhood's diverse voices, knowledge and history.

The Recollection Studio supports the effective use and application of digitization technology to preserve cultural heritage materials through a Do-It-Yourself model. The dedicated space provides hardware, software, and documentation to digitize VHS tapes, audio cassette tapes, documents, photographs, slides, and negatives.

Appointment Information:

The studio is available by appointment and must be scheduled online. There are three types of appointments: Audio/Visual, Photograph Scanning, and Document Scanning. Each appointment is two hours long. The Recollection Studio is on the 3rd floor of CLP – Main (Oakland).

For more information, please view the Frequently Asked Questions flyer.



Supported Formats:

  • VHS tapes
  • Audio cassette tapes
  • 35mm format negatives
  • Medium format negatives
  • 4″ x 5″ negatives
  • Photographs up to 11″ x 17″
  • Documents up to 11″ x 17″
  • Slide photographs

Unsupported Formats:

  • 8- and 16-mm film
  • Hi8
  • Betamax
  • Reel to reel audio

Supported Storage Devices

CLP does not provide storage for digital files. Users of the lab will need to supply their own storage. We recommend a minimum of 2 GB device for image files and a minimum 4-6 GB device for audio and video files.

  • External hard drives – compatible with macOS
  • USB drives
  • DVD and CD (not recommended for long-term preservation)
  • Cloud storage software:

Estimated Length of Digitization Time:

  • VHS and Audio cassette tapes are captured in real time
    • For every 1 minute of video, you will need to allow 1.5 minutes to digitize
    • For every 1 minute of audio, you will need to allow 1.25 minutes to digitize
  • 5 medium-sized photographs scanned at 400 ppi will take about 10 minutes to digitize
  • 25 slides scanned at 2400 ppi will take about 40 minutes to digitize

Documents To Review Before Arriving at Studio

Featured Hardware:

  • 27″ iMac computers
  • Apple USB Superdrive
  • Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K
  • Epson 11000 XL Scanner (flatbed size: 12.2″ x 17.2″)
  • Epson v800 Pro Scanner (flatbed size: 8.5″ x 11.7″)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  • JBL M-Patch 2
  • Panasonic AG-1980 VHS deck
  • Sony MDR series headphones
  • Tascam 122 MkIII cassette deck

Featured Software:

  • Audacity
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Blackmagic Media Express
  • Burn for Mac
  • Handbrake
  • VueScan

Questions? Contact the Recollection Studio at

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