The DC Public Library will open an exciting new space this month where residents can digitize their throughalenssnapshotpersonal historical collections. An opening celebration on Feb 20 will feature tours and a screening of the film: Through the Lens Darkly.

Via an organizer email:

Join DC Public Library February 20 to celebrate the importance of memory and preservation with the launch of our public digitization space, the Memory Lab, and a screening of the documentary Through A Lens Darkly with director Thomas Allen Harris!


Take a tour of our latest DIY space, located in the Dream Lab of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  In the Lab you can digitize your home movies, scan photographs and slides, and learn how to care for your physical and digital family heirlooms.  Tours will last 20 minutes and run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm.


The tours will be followed by a screening of the NAACP Image Award-winning documentary Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People at 2:00 p.m. in the Great Hall. The film will be followed by a Q&A and Director Thomas Allen Harris will speak about how Black family archives shed light on people, places, events, and stories that have rarely been told outside of the immediate circle of families and scholars.

“The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People probes the recesses of American history through images that have been suppressed, forgotten, and lost.” – PBS’ Independent Lens

The Memory Lab is an excellent opportunity for those who have participated in our DC Community Heritage Project or a Your DC Digital Museum public digitization event to continue their work and get expert advice from the DCPL staff!