About/ Visit

What is a 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 Twitter and Instagram.

Visit the lab

We are currently able to have visitors on a limited basis by appointment only. To schedule a tour, visit our calendar here. If you would like to schedule a virtual tour or request future information, please contact us at mediaarchaeology@colorado.edu

Founding Director

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

Lab Manager

Donate to the lab

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