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Media Preservation

The Cranston Public Library offers a media preservation service where older media can be digitized and copied onto disc or saved as a digital file.

What media can be preserved at the library?


  • VHS Tapes
  • VHS-C Camcorder Tapes
  • 8mm Film Reels
  • Super 8mm Film Reels


  • Audio Cassette Tapes
  • Vinyl Records


  • Photographs
  • Negatives
  • 35 mm Mounted Slides
  • 35 mm Film Strips
  • Medium Format Strips 6x22 cm

What can my media be saved onto?

  • VHS tapes and VHS-C camcorder tapes can be copied onto DVD and/or a digital file.
  • 8mm and Super 8mm Film Reels can only be saved as digital files.
  • Audio Cassette Tapes and Vinyl Records can be saved as CD and/or digital MP3 files.
  • Photographs and Negatives can be saved as digital files.

How does this service work?

You may drop off two (2) pieces of media at a time to be copied. Please speak to library staff regarding photographs. You will be asked to sign our Media Preservation Policy (insert link). The library will digitize the media and then make a copy for you.

If you request the digital file of your media, you will need to bring either a USB flash drive or external hard drive with enough storage to save the digital files. We will contact you after recording your media and let you know the necessary file size.

What if I do not wish to drop off my media, but still want to use the service?

You may also stop by during Open Tech Time (Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM) in the C-Lab and use the equipment. Library staff will be available to assist you. First come, first serve. Please note that the process, especially for VHS tapes, may take longer than 2 hours so you may need to come back to complete your project.

How much does this service cost?

The service is free, but we do charge for the cost of blank DVD’s and CD’s in which your media will be copied onto. This cost ranges from $1-2 per disc. If you request a cost estimate, we can make a recording of the media and then contact you with the cost before it is copied onto DVD or CD.

Does one (1) piece of media equal one (1) DVD, CD, or digital file?

Not necessarily. A blank DVD or CD can only hold a certain amount of recorded material. If your media is longer, it may need to be put onto more than one disc. If you only want your media saved as a digital file, then usually one (1) piece of media will equal one (1) digital file.

Will my copied media come out better than the original?

No, the DVD/CD or digital file will be a direct copy of the original media. The equipment we use does  not have the ability to alter, edit, or remaster the quality.

Can you transfer media that has been damaged?

No, we do not have equipment that can circumvent damage. There are two professional businesses you could try instead: Kerry’s Warwick Photo (# 401-732-0208) or Retromedia in Smithfield (# 401-349-4640).

Can you transfer media that has a copyright on it?

No, the library cannot make a copy of any media, such as feature films or TV shows, that have a copyright placed on them. Please see our Media Preservation Policy for more information.

More questions? Contact Katherine by phone at 401-943-9080 x3 or by email at kboden@cranstonlibrary.org


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