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July 05, 2024

New Resources in the Crossroads Discovery Center

hands placing magazine under overhead scanner with laptop next to them

By Jessica L., Local History and Genealogy Librarian

You may have heard that the Crossroads Discovery Center (formerly known as the Indiana Room) has recently reopened its doors. We are so excited to have patrons back in the space! In addition to the genealogy and local history collection that we all know and love, we are excited to add new resources to our offerings in the CRDC.

A lot of family history research relies on things left behind for future generations. This includes official records like the Census but also includes personal records like family Bibles, family reunion lists, photographs with identifying captions, and more. A home video on VHS or Super 8 film can tell you a lot about the people your parents or grandparents hung out with and what their house looked like. An envelope of photo negatives could reveal wedding photos or baby portraits.

With this in mind, the Crossroads Discovery Center space now offers multiple ways to convert or digitize media so it can be treasured by future generations. We’ll go through them so you can find what works best for your family memories!

Before you visit, be sure to:

  • Organize your media in a way that makes sense to you
  • Know what you want to do with your digital files – copy them to your personal laptop, email them to yourself, or use a USB drive. We do have USBs for sale and some external hard drives available for a 7-day checkout.
  • Check to see if you need reservations for the equipment (find out more below!)
  • Plan how long you think it will take. For example, VHS tapes require being run at normal speed, meaning if a movie is two hours long, it will take two hours to digitize.


Digital Media Labs

Our Digital Media Labs include our Media Conversion Lab, Audio Recording Lab, and Image Digitization Lab. These are specialized spaces that can be reserved in advance for two hour time blocks. You can reserve four hours in a row per day.

The Audio Recording Lab has equipment available to record oral history interviews so your family stories aren’t lost to time. This includes the Adobe Creative Suite along with microphones, headphones, and other hardware. Audacity, a free, user-friendly software, is also available.

Table with chairs, computer monitor, and audio recording equipment

Audio Recording Lab

The Media Conversion Lab has several different resources to convert old media to digital files. These include:

  • VHS tapes and VHS-C
  • Cassette tapes
  • Floppy Discs
  • DVDs and CDs
  • 8mm and Super 8 film
  • A 8x10in flatbed scanner for documents, slides, photos, film negatives


DVD disc drive, blue bag with floppy disc dirve, orange bag with VHS Cassette Adaptor, and orange box with cassette tapes on a tabletop.

This shows some of the equipment available in our Media Conversion Lab.

Desk with computer monitor image conversion equipment.

This shows some of the equipment available in our Media Conversion Lab.











The Image Digitization Lab includes the VividPix scanning system. This overhead scanner with an 11×17 scanning bed allows patrons to scan photos and documents. The VividPix Memory Station software then allows you to do some basic restoration or editing of those scans. You can also record audio using a microphone to describe these scans and save it as a slideshow/video presentation to share with family.

Technology Carts

Another set of tools we have added to the Crossroads Discovery Center space are our technology carts. These carts, which can be used anywhere in our space, hold equipment that could be useful for several types of projects. These include:

  • A photo negative and slide converter
  • A Super 8 and 8mm film digitizer
  • A spiral book binder for creative projects
  • An overhead scanner for documents and photos
  • A wand scanner that can be checked out for 7 days at a time for home use
  • A large format printer
  • An overhead scanner with an 18x24in scanning bed that can digitize books and other materials


Overhead Scanner with instructions.

This is one of our technology carts featuring an overhead scanner.

Purple bag with Kodak Slide N Scan equipment, instruction sheet, and small black image scanner.

This is our Kodak Slide and Film negative scanner, which is held on one of our technology carts.








We also have laptops available for use if you do not have your own. This equipment does not require a reservation, but it may be helpful to call or email in advance if you’d like to use it to ensure it will be available.

If any of this media conversion sounds intimidating, don’t worry! We have instructions written and a variety of resources available to help you get familiar with how the equipment works. Staff is also available for appointments (keep an eye out for Book-an-Expert slots like the ones in use in Ignite Studio) to help get you oriented to our space or equipment.

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to us and let us know what media you’re looking to convert to see what we can do to help. Also, be sure to sign up for our upcoming program “Equipment Showcase” on Saturday, August 3rd from 11am to 12:30pm. This will include in-person demonstrations of our equipment from our Crossroads Discovery Center staff.

Help future generations discover your history by preserving older media through conversion and digitization!