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Digital Camera Policies

The following policy is designed to assist researchers with note-taking by permitting the limited use of digital cameras. The use of personal digital cameras is subject, but not limited to, the following conditions: 

1. Digital images are for research purposes only. Permission to photograph material does not include permission to reproduce, transfer, publish, or distribute images. Researchers must contact Historical & Special Collections for permission to publish images.

2. Historical & Special Collections reserves the right to deny requests or revoke permission for any reason, including the condition of the material, copyright restrictions, or disruption to other researchers.

3. Researchers may not photograph more than 20% of any book or collection.

4. There is a 500 page limit (total, not per visit or per collection) on digital photos per calendar year.

5. Researchers must keep a record of all images on the appropriate Record of Digital Images form.

6. It is the researcher’s responsibility to record proper citation information for each item photographed (author, date, collection, box and folder, page numbers, HOLLIS number, etc.). Requests for permission to publish and orders for high resolution images cannot be processed without this information.

7. Each modern manuscript item must be flagged for review and a corresponding Record of Digital Images form must be maintained by the researcher. Historical & Special Collections staff will then review each item for physical condition and donor or other restrictions before any photographs may be taken.

8. Historical & Special Collections will provide a template that must be prominently displayed in each digital image of modern manuscripts and visual materials.

9. Researchers must follow standard rules for care and handling of materials. Bound volumes must be supported in a book cradle and may not be flattened to attain better images. Documents and visual materials must be kept flat on the table and in their original order.

10. Camera flashes and audio features must be turned off; extra equipment is not permitted.

11. Please be aware it is not always possible to provide optimum lighting for photography. Researchers must keep material at their assigned table and may not stand on reading room chairs or rearrange furniture to achieve a better quality image.

12. Historical & Special Collections reserves the right to examine and request copies of all digital files.

13. Researchers should note that in many cases, the Library does not own the copyright to content in its collections. The United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The reproduction or distribution of copyrighted content is copyright infringement, unless the user has obtained consent from the copyright owner or can otherwise establish a “fair use” or other statutory defense. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Harvard Law School Library and the President & Fellows of Harvard College against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses arising from his or her use of the Library's materials.

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.