Reader Guidelines--Photography

The Library seeks to protect the privacy of its readers and ensure an atmosphere conducive to academic inquiry without distraction. In addition, the Library makes the security and preservation of its collection materials and the integrity of their representation in publications priorities when considering photographic requests.

    1. The Library will, upon request, make reproductions for personal study and research. Depending upon the format and age of the material, the Library may either photocopy or digitally photograph the item requested. There is no charge for study images and photocopies. As a general rule, readers should limit requests to a maximum of 20 images.
    2. Arrangements for images intended for publication must be made with the Head of Public Services. There is a schedule of charges, available at:
    3. Existing digital images for materials which have been made available on the digital image collection or other database online may be downloaded and should be used as study images.
    4. On an experimental basis, the Library does also allow readers to take their own digital photography in the Reading Room. Permission is granted on a case-by-case basis. Photography is permitted only to the extent that it does not disrupt other readers or compromise the safety of the collections or security of the facility.
    5. Readers wishing to take digital images of collection materials may either use their own camera or use the camera provided by the Library for that purpose. The camera is made available upon request, on a first-come, first-served basis. The settings on the camera may not be changed, and the use of flash is not permitted. It is the responsibility of the reader doing the photography to download and save the images locally at the end of the photographic session.
    6. These images are to be used for study use only and may not be shared or published, either in print or digitally, without permission.
    7. Readers may not take digital photographs of copies held at the LWL of originals that are owned by other repositories. Photocopies of photostat prints will be made for study use only when the repository’s image cannot be located online.
    8. All material in the Library must be handled with great care. Library materials must remain on the Reading Room table, and foam supports should be used for books. Book weights may be used to hold a page open; however, no pressure should be applied to bindings. Loose manuscript or unbound graphic material must remain in its folder, flat on the table, and kept in order at all times. Library staff are available to assist with proper handling as needed.
    9. Each user is responsible for recording complete and accurate citations (complete location information) for all items he or she photographs for future reference and orders for publication photography.
    10. The use of reproductions from materials in copyright is subject to fair-use provisions of Title 17, United States Code (see Copyright Notice below).
    11. Any photography is subject to approval. The Library reserves the right to deny permission or revoke photographic privileges at its discretion.

    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. The
    user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin 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 library materials.

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Related Links

Reader Guidelines

Digital Collection
Library Collections
Rights and Reproductions
The Library and its History

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