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Guidance on self-service photography


A user of an archive or library, including a user acting on behalf of someone else, may make copies of a copyright work, without infringement of copyright, provided one of the following conditions is met.

Please note also that you may only make one such copy, you may not make any further copies from this for the use of anyone else, and you may not place digital copies on a network.


  • the copies are an insubstantial part of the work. The agreed safe limits for published works are as follows; there is no guidance available for unpublished works.
    • journal or periodical: one article from any one issue
    • published work: one chapter or 5% extracts
  • the purpose of the copying qualifies as ‘fair dealing’. For more detailed information on fair dealing, and the factors you need to consider when assessing whether your use is permitted or not, see the Intellectual Property Office’s website (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/), or Tim Padfield’s Copyright for Archivists and Users of Archives. Note that ‘fair dealing’ provides an exception for private study and non-commercial research, but as well as considering the reason for copying, you should also consider the amount to be copied, and whether there is likely to be any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use.

The Library gives no authority for the making of any copies of copyright works; any advice given in the rules and on notices about what copying is allowed is in general terms and should not be taken to be legal advice. All responsibility for any infringement of copyright is borne by the person making the copy and the person (if different) for whom the copy is being made.