Policy for the use of personal cameras in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room
Personal cameras may be used in the Reading Room under certain conditions, depending on the physical
condition of materials and the rules of the Reading room. This policy seeks to balance research needs and
collection preservation while minimizing disruption to other patrons.
Reading Room staff will assess the physical condition of items to be photographed. If an item is
too fragile, photography will not be allowed. Please ask about other available options.
All patrons wishing to take digital photographs of Special Collection and archives materials must
comply with the rules specified below.
- Photographs must be for personal use only. Patrons interested in acquiring high resolution,
publishable images for a fee should ask the Reference staff about options. A completed citation flag
must be included in each shot. Photographs taken in the Reading Room may not be published, posted on the
internet, donated or sold to another repository, or exhibited. Photography is meant to reduce the need for
photocopies and to supplement note taking, not to create a complete personal copy.
- Users are responsible for complying with copyright law. By signing this document, I agree to indemnify
and hold harmless the University Library, its agents and employees against all claims, demands, costs,
and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising
from the use of these photographs.
- Use of flash equipment is prohibited. Users may be asked to take a test shot to demonstrate that the
flash component of your camera is deactivated before proceeding. Please see the reverse side of this sheet
for other prohibited accessories.
- Handle the material with care. If the physical condition of a volume will allow photography, Reading
Room staff may assist in positioning the item such that it is fully supported. Do not lay a book flat,
attempt to open a volume more that its spine will easily allow, or push down on the leaves of a book to
flatten it. Manuscript material must be photographed in its folder, in the order in which it has been
arranged. Multiple sheets may not be removed to photograph in a single shot. Please ask if you need assistance.
- Library staff, the Reading room, or other researchers may not be photographed. Care must be taken not to
Please follow these and any additional instructions given by Reading Room staff.
What equipment may be used?
- Personal cameras, cell phones in airplane mode (telephone capability disabled), library book cradles,
foam supports, and book snakes may be used.
What equipment may not be used?
- No flatbed scanners, laptop cameras, tripods, video cameras, camera bags, flash, lights, copy stands,
extension cords, audio recorders, or stools are allowed.
- Furniture may not be rearranged. Patrons may not stand on chairs or tables.
- Material may not be held up by hand or placed on the floor or any surface but the table in use.
- Material may not be folded or removed from sleeves or mats. Staff will assist when fasteners must be removed.
What may not be photographed?
- Materials restricted by donor agreement or copyright law.
- Materials received on Interlibrary Loan may not be photographed unless specifically allowed on the loan agreement.
- Preservation needs always take precedence over photography needs.
What procedures are required for identification of materials?
- Patrons must identify the item(s) they photograph within the frame of their shots. The Library will supply
citation streamers for users to fill out. If appropriate, a streamer may be reused in multiple shots. Special
Collections staff will not be able to supply citation information at a later date for any items photographed without
a citation streamer.
- Images without any form of citation will be considered unauthorized photographs.
What are the limits to the quantity of material photographed?
- There are no limits to quantity. Time limits may be assigned when other patrons are waiting to use the space.
Is it permissible to photograph copyrighted material?
- The Library assumes no responsibility for the determination of copyright status or copyright infringement
on the part of our users, nor does it prohibit users from making copies for private study, scholarship, or research.
Users are responsible for complying with copyright law.
Where will photography be permitted?
- Special Collections staff will direct readers to an assigned table.