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OC Memory Lab

OC memory lab photos and text

About OC Memory Lab


Our mission is to provide our communities the ability to preserve their documents, photos, and audiovisuals through digitization. The OC Memory Lab is "a space for free do-it-yourself digitization" allowing users to safeguard their important documents and memories. OC Public Libraries has two labs, one stationary lab at Tustin Library and a mobile unit for outreach and convenience services. 


The OC Memory Lab is designated for users ages 13 and older. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times. 


OC Public Libraries Code of Conduct 

OC Public Libraries Code of Conduct is enforced.


Copyright & Legal Considerations 

How Does it Work?

This OC Memory Lab project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. 

  • Public access to the labs requires registration  
  • Bring your keepsakes along with your own storage device (a USB or external hard drive) to store your digitized projects 
  • It's a do-it-yourself model, meaning we provide step-by-step instructions, and you control the process from start to finish 
  • Must have an active library card

Lab equipment accepts: 

  • VHS 
  • 8 mm and Super 8 film 
  • Audio cassette 
  • DV & Mini DV 
  • Photos / Slides / Negatives 
  • Documents / Letters / Diaries 
  • S-VHS, VHS-C, and 3.5” floppy disk

Unsupported Formats

  • 8-track or 4-track 
  • 16 mm film 
  • 35 mm film 
  • Betacam 
  • Betamax 
  • Blu-ray  
  • Digital8 
  • DVD 
  • Hi8 
  • Laserdisc 
  • Microcassette 
  • U-matic S 


User provides external storage device (i.e. hard drive or USB flash drive).   

Daily organization 

Organizing your personal digital collection will help you locate, reference and re-use what you create. 


Losing track of your assets and online accounts is a threat to your online identity and personal security. This means that sometimes even deleting is a valuable archiving strategy. 


What you produce purposefully (home movie or photograph) and in daily life (calendar appointment or email

Library Card – Click here  if you do not have a library card or are unsure if you have one. 

Complete Registration & Waiver Form - Print, sign, and submit to library staff or pick up a copy at the library.  Click here  for the waiver. 

Watch the Preservation Workshop

Book a session and bring your items: Reservations are three (3) hour sessions and are booked online and verified by Tustin Library staff after you submit the waiver.  Bring your items to be digitized along with an external storage drive to save your digitized project.  Media items will be checked by staff to ensure proper use of equipment 

Inspect Materials to Digitize - Moldy or damaged materials can not be digitized using OC Memory Lab equipment.

Bring a Storage Device: The amount of memory you need will depend on how much you will digitize.  Tip: 1 hour of video = 9 GB | 1 hour of audio = 620 MB | 1 5x7 photograph = >7MB as a JPEG vs. 40MB as a TIF 

Our Equipment

Our equipment is free to use.

How-to guides are provided on this site and at the labs.

OC Memory Lab Equipment

  • iMac Computer  (Tustin Library only)  
  • MacBook Pro Laptop  (Mobile Lab only)                        
  • Scanner w/ Transparency Unit    
  • Video Converter                               
  • VHS-DVD Combo Deck                   
  • S-VHS Deck                                         
  • VHS-C Adapter                                  
  • DV & Mini-DV Deck                         
  • Audiocassette Deck                        
  • 8mm & Super 8 Film Converter 

3.5” Floppy Disk Drive                  

OC Stories

OC Stories is our local history webpage. If you would like to upload and share your own OC story to this local history webpage, please acknowledge and sign the OCstories agreement below. Staff will show you where you can save your media for review and upload. 

Image/Recording Use Agreement  


Patrons can use our available equipment to:

  • Scan photographs and documents
  • Convert VHS, analog recordings, and audiocassette tapes into digital format

  • Have your library card ready
  • Sign and agree to the OC Memory Lab waiver
  • Attend an orientation
  • Make a reservation

The required orientation will assist you in getting familiar with our equipment. Library staff will also be available for assistance

Anything that has been copyrighted is prohibited

Yes, reservations are required. Reservations are available after you have completed orientation

The OC Memory Lab does not have this equipment available to borrow. There are various retail stores that sell USB and external drives

Bring a USB or an external hard drive to save your content. Please note that when transferring video formats, at least 4GB for every 1 hour of video is recommended

Currently, sessions are for three hours

Yes, you must have an OCPL library card in good standing. Apply for a free library card here


Orientation is available through the registration process

An external hard drive or USB thumb drive. It is recommended the storage device is more

Tuesday - Thursday: 12:00PM-6:00PM

Friday - Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

Please take your items along with your external hard drive

 OC Public Libraries will offer OC Memory Lab services throughout the county with the mobile unit. Email Tustin Library for suggested locations


Personal Archiving:  Preserving Your Digital Memories

Provides basic guidance to individuals about preserving personal and family memories in digital form.

Your Personal Archiving Project:  Where Do You Start?

Tips on getting started and maintaining an approach that will get your through.

Memory Lab Network.  

Meet the network, find out about other locations and resources. 



OC memory lab