Special Collections
UCLA Library Special Collections

Policy on Digital Camera use in the Reading Rooms of Library Special Collections

Library Special Collections is pleased to allow the use of digital cameras on a controlled basis to facilitate the research needs of our users. The following policy outlines the necessary expectations and requirements for use of digital cameras in our reading rooms, which is subject to copyright laws, donor-imposed restrictions, and specific conditions and arrangements for preservation.

Use of digital cameras is subject, but not limited to, the following conditions:

Approved uses and procedures

  • Readers agree that photographs are for personal study purposes only and may not be reproduced, donated, published, exhibited, nor sold to another repository,

Prohibited Duplication

  • Some collections have donor-imposed restrictions that prohibit duplication in whole or in part. Photographing these collections is therefore prohibited.
  • Fragile, damaged, or restricted items will not be duplicated in any way.
  • Materials lent to UCLA LSC via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) will not be digitally photographed nor reproduced in any way by readers unless specifically allowed by the loan agreement.
  • If an item is known to have a publicly accessible digital surrogate, readers will be referred to the online surrogate.

Prohibited equipment and settings

  • Personal scanners, tripods, camera flashes, extension cords and special lighting are prohibited. Audible features on cameras must be turned off.
  • Cell phones must either be muted or placed in "airplane mode."
  • Readers may be asked to take test shots to demonstrate that their cameras' flashes are deactivated.

Appropriate care and handling of LSC materials

  • Materials must be handled properly and with great care.
  • Bound volumes must be supported in a book cradle. No pressure may be applied to the bindings.
  • Loose manuscript material must remain in its corresponding folder. Order of materials must be maintained at all times. Documents must lay flat on the table. Repositioning documents (e.g. holding documents up) to obtain better images is prohibited. Cameras are not allowed to rest on top of materials. If leaves are fastened together, please see the desk attendant before proceeding.
  • Items in mylar sleeves may not be removed from their sleeves.
  • Taking pictures the reading room, other readers, and LSC staff is prohibited.
  • Readers are prohibited from standing on chairs, placing materials on the floor, and rearranging furniture.
  • Any instance of flash photography, mistreatment, and/or damage to materials during photography will result in immediate termination of the privilege. The Library reserves the right to deny photography requests and/or to revoke photographic privileges for any reason.

Requirements for Publishing Materials

  • Readers are responsible for complying with copyright law. Readers must also acknowledge that it is their responsibility to obtain relevant permission from copyright owners in the event that they decide to publish their work.
  • Images for publication or distribution must be ordered through LSC by submitting a Special Collections Duplication Request Form and a Special Collections Request to Publish Form (forms obtainable at LSC). Fees will apply.

Copyright Notice

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

A copy of the Digital Camera Use Form  will be given to the user prior to entering the reading room. By signing this document, the user agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the UCLA Library, its agents, officers, directors, employees, representatives, associates, and affiliates and each and all of them against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of these photographs of the Library’s materials, whatsoever, whether or not groundless, which may arise directly or indirectly, for which no permission or authorization was granted.

Each user who signs the policy will be issued a photography permit that should be displayed at his or her seat at all times.

Readers agree that photographs are for personal study purposes only and may not be reproduced, donated or sold to another repository, published, or exhibited.