Camera Use in Special Collections University Archives

Camera Use in the Reading Room

Taking snapshots of Special Collections and University Archives materials is permitted under certain circumstances and for a certain number of shots. The curator at the desk will help the researcher set up the materials to be photographed, and the curator or a desk student will work with the researcher to ensure proper handling of them.

General Guidelines

  • Personal research only
    Use of personal cameras is to take photographs for personal research only.  If the image or images are to be published, researcher must negotiate use fees through the Digital Scholarship Center.
  • No professional photography
    Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate professional photography in the Paulson Reading Room.  Professional photographs must be handled through the library unit, the Digital Scholarship Center. 
  • Curator approval required
    Researcher must notify the curator at the desk and get his/her approval before beginning any photographing.
  • Use of duplication form
    The researcher must keep track of all photographs by filling out the appropriate duplication form.
  • Fragile materials
    Use of personal cameras for fragile materials for personal research is encouraged over photocopying, as long as the number of individual photographs does not surpass the allowed number (see below).  Please consult with the curator at the desk.
  • Handling of materials
    All unbound items must lie flat on the reading table.  All bound materials must be placed on a foam book rest.  Bound volumes may not be flattened in order to obtain better images.  Staff will ensure that all handling of materials is safe and appropriate. 
  • No flash, sound, supplemental lighting, tripods, or camera stands
    The taking of photographs must not be disruptive to other researchers. Please disable any flash mechanism on your digital camera and turn off all sound/beep functions prior to taking photographs.  No supplemental lighting, tripods, or camera stands are allowed.
  • Large items
    If the item is too large to be photocopied or scanned, use of personal cameras for personal research is encouraged, as long as the number of individual photographs does not surpass the allowed number (see below).  A curator will need to be present to ensure proper handling.

Guidelines by format

  • Medieval Manuscripts not allowed
    Duplication through use of personal camera is not allowed.  Researcher must go through the Digital Scholarship Center for duplication. 
  • Personal papers and records allowed
    For materials from personal papers, business or department records, personal camera use is allowed.  However, removal of paperclips or staples must be handled by the curator at the desk.  The curator at the desk may wish to consult the Manuscripts Librarian or the University Historian and Archivist before removing paperclips or staples.
  • Rare Books after 1800 allowed
    Use of personal camera is generally allowed for books published after 1800.  For books published before 1800, please consult with the curator at the desk.
  • Oregon Collection materials allowed
    Use of personal camera is generally allowed.  If the publication is particularly fragile, curator at the desk may request that the researcher go through the Digital Scholarship Center.
  • No images of original photographs or negatives allowed
    Researcher must go through the Digital Scholarship Center.
  • Ephemera or artifacts allowed (no manipulation)
    Use of personal camera is allowed for as-is display.  For photographs from various angles where position adjustment is necessary, researcher must go through the Digital Scholarship Center.

Allowable number of photographs

  • Oregon Collection materials: 20% of whole
    If the material is in adequate condition, researcher may photograph up to 10% of the whole.  More than 10% must be photocopied or handled through the Digital Scholarship Center.
  • Rare books: 20% of whole
    If the book is in adequate condition, researcher may photograph up to 10% of the whole.  More than 10% must be handled through the Digital Scholarship Center.
  • Manuscripts or Archives materials: 20% of a collection
    The researcher may take photographs up to 20% of manuscript or archives collections.  For more than 20%, the researcher must request permission from the appropriate curator.
  • Architectural drawings: sections only
    The researcher is allowed to photograph sections of large architectural drawings.  For duplication of a complete drawing, researcher must go through either the Digital Scholarship Center or the Map Library, depending on the size of the original.

Special Collections and University Archives reserves the right to refuse permission for personal camera use in the Paulson Reading Room.

Created by nhelmer on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Jul 30, 2014