Digitization and Media Conversion

What is it?

AT provides a digitization and format conversion service for media resources intended for educational use, provided the use conforms to current copyright rules and regulations.  

Our staff is available to consult with you on our process to ensure that your resources are digitized and used appropriately.  Any materials intended for digitization are subject to a copyright review. 


*This is service is paused during the remote instruction period, until further notice.


Anyone interested in digitization must begin by submitting a request to the digitization team, located below, and AT will coordinate with you on the appropriate parameters, timelines, requirements of the request.

Turnaround time is dependent upon our queue of projects and the size of a request, but we typically ask that you submit requests for digitization at least two weeks ahead of your due date, a month ahead for large projects.

Request form:

Content Parameters:

AT provides digitization and reformatting services for educational and research purposes. Materials submitted may be commercial or self-created, provided that their use falls under the current interpretations of United States Copyright Law as understood by San Francisco State University and the Department of Academic Technology, including the following regulations:

  • Digitized versions of resources must be used for scholarly or instructional (not commercial or personal) purposes.
  • The conversion of resources into digital formats must not have a negative commercial impact on the market or sales of the original resource.
  • Digitized versions of resources must be used in an academic or instructional setting, and must be delivered to a restricted audience, including via password protected logins on University servers for online courses.
  • Resources used in online courses must be accompanied by a notice of copyright via instructor.


Quantity Parameters
Type Format Delivery Platform Amount Digitized
Commercial Modern (e.g. DVD, CD) Classroom Fair Use
Commercial Modern (e.g. DVD, CD) Online Clips
Commercial Aging/Damaged (e.g. VHS) Classroom Full*; Clips if not in media catalog
Commercial Aging/Damaged (e.g. VHS) Online Clips
Self-Created Any Any Any/Full

*Full digitization of aging resources pertains only to resources owned by the Library in the Media Catalog, if another modern replacement cannot be acquired.  Ability to circulate these resources beyond cablecasting is currently being reviewed.

AT will provide digitization services for reasonable quantities of material on a per semester basis.

  • Reasonable quantities typically include: up to six full single resources (including VHS and DVDs, audio cassette tapes, and audio discs), and/or up to three separate sets of resources (including slides and photography collections up to 200 per set) per faculty/staff member request.
  • Please contact us to discuss exceptions.


Technical Parameters:

AT will digitize the following analog formats:

  • Audio: Standard-sized Cassette tapes and Compact Discs
  • Video: VHS, DVD, Hi-8, and Mini DV video
  • Slides: Standard-sized individually mounted slides and un-mounted transparencies
  • Photographs: Up to 12x18 inches

AT can provide the following digital formats:

  • Audio:
    • Master/Archival formats: AIFF, WAV
    • Web-ready format: mp3
  • Video:
    • Master Archival formats: AVI, MOV Quicktime
    • Web-ready format: mp4
  • Photographs and slides:
    • TIFF, JPEG
    • Color Modes: 8 or 16 bit RGB, 8 or 16 bit B&W, Color CMYK
    • Resolution: Up to 300 DPI for print material, up to 3000 DPI for slides/negatives
    • Scale: Up to 350%

*Academic Technology’s digitization service currently does not offer image retouching or manipulation.

AT can provide digital files through a variety of media and platforms dependent upon the digitized resource and its intended use:

Formats & Outputs
Format Output
Digital image files ✔ Available on DVD/CD ✔ Available on Thumbdrive ✔ Available on iLearn ✔ Available on Box.com  
Video clips ✔ Available on DVD/CD ✔ Available on Thumbdrive ✔ Available on iLearn ✔ Available on Box.com  
Full length video (self-created) ✔ Available on DVD/CD ✔ Available on Thumbdrive ✔ Available on iLearn ✔ Available on Box.com (Box.com has a 5GB maximum size)  
Full length video (commercial) Not available on DVD/CD Not available on Thumbdrive Not available on iLearn Not available on Box.com Cablecast available
Audio clips ✔ Available on DVD/CD ✔ Available on Thumbdrive ✔ Available on iLearn ✔ Available on Box.com  

How are people using this service?

Instructors use the digitization service to convert aging materials with important research or instructional information on them to more sustainable digital formats.  Instructors use the service to supplement class materials or instruction with unique content and make research more accessible and manageable.