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Do you have an old VHS tape that holds memories galore? Good news, you can now convert those to a more modern media format so you can keep those memories forever!

I'm going to age myself, but whatevs. I have one tape that I would LOVE to convert. It's from 7th grade at a basketball tourney when I made a half court shot. My coach was able to get the tape and labeled it "The Shot." I still have it in my memories tote and have been dying to show it to my kiddo, but I don't have a VHS player.

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you're like me, I have awesome news. There's a place where you can convert your old media. Not just tapes either. You can also convert old film.

It's called the Convert-O-Lab (COL). A self-service collection of equipment for digitizing older media formats so they can be preserved and enjoyed today. And it's available to use for free at the Rochester Public Library.

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So what type of formats can you convert?

  • VHS / VHS-C (smaller version of VHS)
  • SVHS / SVHS-C (smaller version of SVHS)
  • Hi8, Digital 8, Video 8 (used in camcorders)
  • MiniDV (used in Sony MiniDV camcorders)
  • Slide film
  • Film negatives
  • Images up to 12" x 17"
  • Rapid scanning of smaller photographs

You do need to reserve the space in advance and you can do so by going to their website OR by calling them at 507-328-2309. You can reserve up to 2 hours a day.

They do recommend that you bring a flash driveportable hard drive or SD card to save your digitized files. No other formats are supported.

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Gallery Credit: Andy Brownell

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