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Memory Labs

The Memory Lab is a space for free do-it-yourself digitization of photos, documents, audiovisual recordings, and other formats. It provides Library staff and patrons with guidelines, tools, and training for personal analog and digital archiving.

The Memory Lab components - equipment and resources - are modular and scalable and can be set up as an in-house, curbside, and/or mobile program. Memory Labs are a way for organizations to personally connect with their communities, save shared history, and drive home principles of preservation and access.

The California State Library currently invites applications for a CopyCat grant that will support the development of a Memory Lab project in a nine-month period (December 2020 - August 2021). The grant - up to $20,000 - can cover staff as well as equipment. The Memory Lab toolkit has been developed to help organizations apply for and implement the project.

Application deadline: Monday, November 9, 2020.

In partnership with the Memory Lab Network, California Revealed will provide support and training through the course of the grant, and beyond. Based on the Memory Lab Network training model, these monthly webinars will provide grantees with practical knowledge in digitization, and help them plan their own digitization program. 

The following webinar sessions will be available:

Friday, December, 11 2020: The Memory Lab Model(s): on-site/curbside/mobile 

January 2021: Goals and Expectations: Formulating a Plan 

February 2021: Introduction to Digital Concepts

March 2021: Introduction to Audiovisual Preservation

April 2021: Equipment Set Up, Workflows and Troubleshooting

May 2021: Training Your Staff

June 2021: Evaluating Your Memory Lab

July 2021: Sustaining and Expanding Your Memory Lab

August 2021: Introduction to Programming

California Revealed is available to help institutions and their community members with preservation planning too. If the community member is willing to save and share a copy of their files with the host Memory Lab, their family's stories will be added to the California Revealed collection of digitized materials related to state history.

Grantees are encouraged to connect with other Memory Labs to build regional partnerships in California and contribute to the Memory Lab Network - exchanging information, troubleshooting, and reaching wider audiences. Check the Memory Lab Network map for a Memory Lab near you.