The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Vitale Digital Media Lab

The lab offers training, equipment and knowledgeable staff to assist patrons in working with digital media including video, audio, imaging, and web publishing. Lab resources are available to all current Penn students, faculty, and staff. Lab resources are not available to alumni and members of general public.

Students and staff in the Vitale Media Lab

Popular uses of the Media Lab:

  • Convert VHS and mini-DVD to digital format
  • Digitize audio recordings from vinyl records and cassettes
  • Create websites with sound and video
  • Produce audio and video projects on DVD and CD
  • Record audio narrative on a PowerPoint presentation
  • Digitize 35mm slides on the 50-slide scanner
  • Scan large, complex images
  • Scan printed text to MS Word or other digital format

The lab includes:

  • 11 full-scale video-editing stations with headphones
  • Poster printer for posters up to 42 inches wide
  • 4 scanners, including slide, film, document feeder, and large-format capability
  • Digital video/audio conversion from several formats
  • Video cameras and audio recording devices
  • Apple iPad
  • MIDI keyboard
  • Experienced lab consultants for one-on-one and small group assistance.

Where to print, copy, scan

Accordion List

  • 10 workstations

  • 32-inch monitor
  • Blu-Ray player
  • CD player
  • Computer work station
  • Desk outlets for charging devices
  • DVD player
  • Flat-screen monitor
  • HD projection system
  • Microphone
  • MIDI keyboard
  • Overhead projector
  • Scanners
  • Turntable
  • Whiteboard

Borrow Equipment

  • No food permitted. 
  • Covered beverages allowed.


No; we are a self-service lab. But we will show you how to get your project done and teach you to use any necessary software along the way.

The only thing we charge for in the lab is printing.

We do not reserve workstations for individuals. The machines in the lab are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Faculty who are interested in using the lab for their class should contact the lab coordinator.

You are welcome to connect your own mp3 player, earphones, flash/thumb drive, external hard drive, or graphics tablet to our workstations. Please ask about other devices.

We maintain a list of the software available on the Macs in the lab and on the laptops in the Information Commons.

The lab is aimed at helping people accomplish specific tasks. To this end, we can help you learn how to use specific pieces of software to accomplish those tasks. Some pieces of software (Photoshop and Final Cut Pro are good examples) are enormously complicated and we simply don't have the resources to teach you to use them in an in-depth way.

We do offer introductory workshops for some pieces of software (Photoshop, iMovie, etc.) that are aimed at giving you a solid jumping-off point so that you can start using the software on your own. We are also available to answer any of your specific questions about how to use any of the software in the lab; just stop by and ask us. We also maintain a small library of books you can use while you're in the lab.

We cannot install a piece of commercial software on the workstations in the lab unless we have purchased a license for it. If you have purchased a piece of software, we cannot install it on our machines for you and then uninstall it when you leave. If there is a piece of free software you would like to install, please ask us and we will let you know if it's possible. We recently added GoogleEarth Pro and Sketchup to the machines in the lab based on user requests. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for other additions to make to the lab.

We cannot install a font that you purchased on the lab machines. If there is a free font you need to use, ask us and we will let you know if it's possible.

No. We aren't able to fix your computer for you, although we'll be glad to help you use the software on your machine if it's something we're familiar with. If you truly think your computer is broken and rebooting the machine doesn't fix the problem, the University Tech Center may be able to help.

We can import audio/video to our workstations from the following sources:

  • DVD (multi-region)
  • miniDV
  • Video CD (VCD)
  • Audio CD
  • Audio Cassette
  • Vinyl record (33 1/3 or 45 rpm only)
  • Existing video files (mpg, mpeg, avi, mov)
  • Existing audio files (mp3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis)

We do NOT have equipment in the lab to import:

  • 8-Track tapes
  • 78rpm vinyl records
  • Betamax
  • D8 (Hi-8, etc) tapes
  • DVCPro
  • Flash videos like those from YouTube, Google Video, etc.
  • Full-sized DV tapes or DVCam tapes
  • Super-8 tapes
  • VHS-C

If you bring your own camera or video/video deck that has an S-Video or RCA output, we can most likely patch it into our system and allow you to import your video to edit.

If you do not see a format specifically mentioned above, please ask us.

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Table with accessible surface height, knee clearance, and leg clearance


  • Natural and/or non-fluorescent light

Nearby Bathrooms

Nearest bathroom is immediately above on the second floor: Take an elevator from WIC. One accessible, gender-neutral bathroom is located at the west end of the library in the Lippincott space. (see floor plan)

Accessible Entrance

Accessible entrance on the ground floor. A brick walk leads from the north side of Levy Park to the accessible door. At the end of the walk are 2 doors. The accessible door is on the right.

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF