About/ Visit

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What is the Media Archaeology Lab?

The Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) was founded in 2009 by Associate Professor Lori Emerson. It is generously supported by the College of Media, Communication and Information, the Department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and numerous donors, particularly Brad Feld and Google. It has also been supported by the Center for Humanities and the Arts as well as the ATLAS Institute. The MAL is located on the University of Colorado Boulder campus and rests on traditional territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations. Our motto is “the past must be lived so that the present can be seen.”

Nearly all digital media labs are conceived of as a place for experimental research using the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available. By contrast, the MAL—which very well might be the largest of its kind in the world—is a place for cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching using still functioning media from the past. The MAL is propelled equally by the need to preserve and maintain access to historically important media of all kinds—from magic lanterns, projectors, and typewriters, to early personal computers from the 1970s through the 1990s; as well as early works of digital literature/art which were originally created on the hardware and software housed in the MAL. 

We welcome all members of the public as well as members of the CU Boulder community to visit the lab in person. If you’d like to keep up with MAL events and news, please sign up for our mailing list and/or follow us on Mastodon, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit the lab

We currently have open-house hours Tuesday 1-4:30 pm, Wednesday 12-3 pm, Thursday 2-5 pm, Friday 10am - 1pm and Saturday 12-3 pm. Individuals and families do not need to schedule with us to visit during those hours. Please check our Twitter for updated holiday hours and emergency closures - our open house hours are hosted by volunteers and sometimes things happen that are outside of our control!

If you would like to visit with a class or a group larger than 8, please contact us to schedule. Because of limited space and staffing we need at least two weeks notice to accommodate class and group tours.

We are able to do a limited number of visits outside of open house hours by appointment - to schedule, visit our calendar here. You will be prompted to select two possible times and will receive email confirmation for one. Please wait to receive an email confirming your tour time.

In addition to the main lab, we are able to accomodate research-focused visits to either of our auxilliary spaces. To schedule a visit to Node 1 (Slow Networks project space, radio library & work desk), use the calendar here. To schedule a visit to Node 2 (Minitel and OLPC collection), use the calendar here.

If you would like to schedule a group virtual tour or request further information, please contact us at mediaarchaeology@colorado.edu

Parking directly next to the lab is permit-only and the university does issue parking tickets. If you are driving, you can find paid street parking one block south of us on University Ave.. It is also often possible to find free street parking 2-3 blocks away, west of Broadway Ave. on both University Ave. and Grandview Ave..

Founding Director

Dr. Lori Emerson (Associate Professor of English and Director of the Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance Program, University of Colorado at Boulder)

Managing Director

Donate to the lab

If you would like to contribute to continuing the operations of the lab, you can donate through our support fund.

We also offer merch in exchange for a donation at malwear.shop!