Skip to main content

Reprographics and copyright


Copies of items held in Special Collections can be requested in paper or electronic format and are completed depending on the condition/ nature of the item concerned, on copyright restrictions and the size of the order.  

You MUST read the guidelines below concerning copyright restrictions.

Requests for copies of archive material are assessed on a case by case basis.  To request copies you must complete the relevant reader request based on the type of copying required:

 Certain types of material cannot be photocopied or scanned, due to preservation issues:

  • No bound manuscript volumes or archival items made of parchment will be photocopied.
  • No archival items containing a wax seal or use of watercolour pigments will be photocopied.
  • No items larger than A3 will be photocopied (including bound volumes of newspapers and loose maps).
  • No folding plates in books will photocopied.

Constraints on staff time may restrict the quantity of copying that can be requested, and readers are cautioned that requests for copies cannot usually be completed during the day of their visit.  

Book photocopies for external readers can be posted out on completion, or collected in person. 

Archival copying is done on a case-by-case basis in consultation with senior Special Collections staff and is dependent on copyright restrictions.

Library staff reserve the right to refuse to photocopy materials if they judge that physical damage is likely to be caused to books or documents.

‌If you are visiting the reading room it is possible for you to make copies using your own digital camera. 

All images are for private research only and are made subject to copyright legislation.  

No self-service digital photography is permitted for items which are in copyright without prior written permission by the copyright holder.  Please note that this restriction includes most archive material held in Special Collections. An image request and declaration form must be completed before any images may be taken.  

  • Digital images of items held in the collections are supplied strictly for private research for a non-commercial purpose, on completion of the relevant digital request form.  
  • Requests will normally be supplied as in electronic format as JPEG or TIFF files either via email or on CD. 
  • Copying is carried out in accordance with the Special Collections Reprographics' Policy, which takes into account staff availability, preservation needs and copyright legislation. 
  • Reproduction or publication in any medium is expressly forbidden without written authorisation.
  • Digital image request
  • Archives: 30p per A4 or A3 copy 
  • Books: 10p per A4 copy; 20p per A3 copy
  • Digital images: Prices vary. Please see our Digital image charges for more details

Many of our collections - or items contained within them - are in copyright and and are subject to restrictions.  

We are not permitted to provide copies of any material in copyright for a commercial purpose without the written permission of the copyright owner and we will advise you if this is the case. 

All requests for copies from collections thus protected must be accompanied with written permission from the copyright owner in advance. This particularly applies to certain modern archive collections. 

It is your responsibility to trace the copyright owner and provide proof of permission for the copies to be made.  The WATCH database at may be able to assist you in finding the copyright owner. Further advice on UK copyright is available from The National Archives.

Requests for publication, display - and in the case of some archival items, quotation - must be obtained jointly from the copyright holder and from the Library. All reproductions must be acknowledged  in the published work.  There may be further requirements if items are to be reproduced in publications, including the charging of fees.

All applications to publish items from the collections must be made in writing. The permission of the Library as owner/place of deposit will be required before publication. In some cases, the Library's agreement will be dependent on written evidence of additional permission from the copyright holder. Applications to publish can be made by letter or by completing the following form:

Fees are likely to be payable to the University Library for images which are to appear in publications, or for extracts from unpublished manuscripts which are to be quoted. In some cases, a literary executor or agent will expect a fee for reproduction as well.

Payment is made by prior arrangement with Special Collections and can be paid online by credit/debit card. Copying decisions are made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.