Reproduction & Publication

It is possible to request scans and digital images of Special Collections materials. Reproductions may not be made for or donated to other repositories. 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.

Each item to be duplicated 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 photocopy 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 If the item is unpublished, copyright may rest in the hands of the author or his heirs.
  • Restrictions set by donors – some manuscript collections have restrictions against photocopying.
  • Physical size – some items, such as maps or architectural drawings, are too large to duplicate

As curators of these priceless materials, we work 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 categories above.

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 our Guidelines for Permission to Publish.

To request digitization of materials, please use this form.

Hand-held personal digital cameras may be used to make copies of rare materials in the reading room. For security and preservation reasons, handheld or flatbed scanners are not permitted in the reading room. Researchers must fill out and sign an Application to Use a Personal Camera in the Reading Room form. 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 request through our online reference request form and let us know which materials you may wish to photograph.