Camera Use in the Reading Room

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

General Guidelines

Personal research only

All photographs must be for personal research use only. Researchers interested in acquiring high-resolution images can visit this website for information. We cannot accommodate professional photography in the Paulson Reading Room. Professional photographs must be handled through the library unit, Image Services.

Researchers seeking to publish, display, or distribute any item from the SCUA holdings notify SCUA using by completing this notification of use form.

Permitted equipment

Hand-held cameras, cell phones, and tablets. Flash must be disabled.

Non-permitted equipment

Scanners, laptop cameras, or ancillary devices; including tripods, video cameras, camera bags, flash functionality or lights, copy stands, audio components, stools.

Reference desk staff approval

Researcher must notify the curator at the desk and get his/her approval before beginning any photographing.

Fragile materials

Use of personal cameras for fragile materials for personal research is encouraged over scanning, as long as the number of individual photographs does not surpass the allowed number (see below).

Handling of materials

All unbound items must lie flat on the reading table. All bound materials must be placed on a book support. Bound volumes may not be flattened in order to obtain better images. Staff may assist in positioning the item so that it is fully supported. Furniture may not be rearranged.  Patrons may not stand on chairs or tables. 

Large items

Reference desk staff will assist to ensure proper handling.

Guidelines by format

Reference desk staff reserve the right to advise proper use of materials at any time.

Medieval Manuscripts allowed

Duplication through use of personal camera is generally allowed. Please consult with reference desk staff for handling guidelines.

Personal papers and records allowed

For materials from personal papers, business or department records, personal camera use is allowed. Archival materials must be photographed in their folder, keeping their order intact. Material may not be folded or removed from sleeves or mats. Staff can assist when fasteners must be removed.

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 reference desk staff.

Oregon Collection materials allowed

Use of personal camera is generally allowed. If the publication is particularly fragile, reference desk staff may request that the researcher request scans.

Photographic prints, slides, negatives allowed

Use of personal camera without flash is generally allowed. Researchers must wear gloves at all times while handling photographic prints, slides, and/or negatives.

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 request photographs.

Allowable number of photographs

Oregon Collection materials: 20% of whole

If the material is in adequate condition, researcher may photograph up to 20% of the whole. More than 20% must be photocopied or handled through Images Services.

Rare books: 10% 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 Image Services.

Manuscripts or Archives materials: 20% of whole

The researcher may make up to 20% of a manuscript or archives collection. For more than 20 %, the researcher may request scans through Image Services.

Architectural drawings sections only

The researcher is allowed to photograph sections of large architectural drawings. For duplication of a complete drawing, researcher may request scans through Image Services.