As curators of these priceless materials, the staff of Special Collections works to safeguard the condition of materials and to respect the wishes and interests of authors and donors. As librarians who want to further scholarship and teaching and want to publicize our collections, we will work with you to find creative ways to reproduce items that may fall into one of the following categories.
Each item to be reproduced must be evaluated by Special Collections staff on the basis of:
- Physical condition – many items, especially rare books or large architectural drawings, are too fragile to reproduce without endangering the originals.
- Copyright issues – if the item is a published document, copyright restrictions may apply. If the item is unpublished, copyright may rest in the hands of the author or his or her heirs. Please note that it is the sole responsibility of the user of such materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to any distribution or publication.
- Restrictions set by donors – some manuscript collections have restrictions against reproduction or publication.
- Physical size – some items, such as maps or architectural drawings, are too large to photocopy or fit on our low-resolution scanner. These will require scanning by Digitization Services.
- The Special Collections Department reserves the right to refuse to accept a duplication request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law.
- Reproductions may not be made for or donated to other repositories.
- For low-resolution scans, please use the Reference Request Form.
Be sure to include a complete call number or a complete description of the item or collection. Due to limited staff resources, we can only fill orders of 30 scans or less. This complimentary service is limited to one order per person per calendar year.
- For high-resolution scans and orders larger than 30 scans, please use the Digital Production Group Request Form.
This process takes at least four weeks and costs $50 for the first hour and $25 for each subsequent hour. Once you submit an order, you will be provided with an estimate of costs and delivery date. We will not complete an order without your approval of the cost.
Learn more about the Digital Production Group, including policies, digitization standards, equipment, and payment.
Personal Digital Cameras
Hand-held personal digital cameras or camera phones may be used to make copies of rare materials in the Reading Room. For security and preservation reasons, tripods, additional lights, including built-in flashes, and handheld or flatbed scanners are not permitted in the Reading Room. Researchers must fill out and sign the Personal Camera Use Policy form prior to photographing materials. Each collection or item photographed will be approved and listed by Special Collections desk staff. Researchers will be provided with an identifying strip to include in each photograph. For more information, see our Digital Camera Policy.
If you are planning a research visit to Special Collections and would like to know in advance whether we will approve your use of a digital camera, please submit a Reference Request Form and let us know which materials you may wish to photograph.
Images of materials made from materials in our collection must not be used for publication or use on a website without permission. For information on using Special Collections materials in publications or on websites, please refer to Guidelines for Permission to Publish.