Stanford Media Preservation Lab

All analog audio and video formats are essentially obsolete. More contemporary digital media formats have proven to be fragile, and will inevitably become obsolete as well. And as all media -- both analog and digital -- ages and is handled and used, the recorded signal is at risk of damage, physical degradation, and irrecoverable loss.  Finding suitable equipment in operating condition for playback is often difficult.  It is for these reasons that the Stanford Media Preservation Lab exists.

Research libraries struggle with providing access to media materials in their collections. By transferring recordings to digital files, it is possible to preserve the recorded content and enhance scholarly access.  Media digitization is critical in order that these recordings can be readily used both now and into the future.

SMPL serves to preserve and enhance access to original sound and moving image collection materials held by Stanford University Libraries.  Our core operations focus on creating a high-quality copy of the original content in a digital format that is easily accessed by researchers and others, and that enables ongoing, long-term management of the content for future users. We work closely with curators, archivists, conservators and other staff responsible for the care and management of special collections and archival materials.

We also provide a variety of consultation services to the Stanford community to assist in the assessment and ongoing management of audio and moving image collections in analog and digital form.