Digital Photography Policy

Readers are permitted to take their own digital pictures for study purposes in the Reading Room with a small, handheld camera, iPad, or cell phone.  SLR cameras or larger cameras must be approved by staff at the service desk prior to use.  Extra care must be taken with large cameras as they can damage material if dropped.  Lanyards worn around the wrist or neck are encouraged.

Images intended for publication (web or print) must be ordered from our Digital Studio. It is the responsibility of the reader to keep complete and accurate citations (call numbers, accession numbers, ID numbers, page numbers, and box and folder numbers) for all items photographed.  Requests for subsequent orders for high‐resolution images for publication will not be processed without this information.

Please Note: Photographs may not be taken of the reading room, the lobby, staff members or other readers.

1) Authorization. As part of the registration process, please check off that you agree to the rules and regulations regarding personal digital photography in the reading room. If you have any questions please ask at the Service Desk or email –

2) What may be photographed. Many Beinecke Library collection materials may be digitally photographed. However, in some cases, the reader may be asked to submit a request for professional photography from the Digital Studio due to size or condition of the material. The final determination will be made by the Reading Room staff during the reader’s visit.

3) Preparation before photography. Before taking pictures, the reader may flag the requested pages with acid‐free streamers provided at the Service Desk A staff member will review the material for condition before authorizing the photography. We strongly suggest that you write the ID number, volume, and page number or the accession number, box, and folder number on the streamer to facilitate your record keeping.

4) Cameras permitted. A handheld digital camera, preferably with a wrist strap, may be used with the flash disabled. A test shot will be required to insure that the flash is off. The reader is responsible for knowing how the camera works. Cell phones and iPads are permitted, but SLR cameras or other large cameras must be approved by the desk staff prior to use. The reader must take extreme care that their camera does not fall on material. Lanyards worn around the neck or wrist are encouraged. Laptops may not be used to photograph material.

5) Photographic methods. Only hand‐held overhead capture is acceptable. Material must be photographed on the table surface. Readers may not alter the supports of rare books or aesthetically arrange material on foam. Laptops, portable scanners, lights, and tripods are not permitted. Placing material on the floor or standing on the furniture is strictly prohibited.

6) Handling rules. Never touch material while photographing; no pressure may be applied to the object. Material should not be removed from Mylar or from any mounts, nor should any unopened printed material be opened or  paper clips or staples removed. Please report any of these situations to the Service Desk staff. Snakes or foams are available to safely photograph material.

8) Confidentiality of other researchers. Readers must be sensitive to others conducting research in the reading room; readers may be asked to delay their photography if the activity is disturbing other readers. Photographs may not be taken of the reading room, the lobby, staff members or other readers. The Library reserves the right to deny requests or revoke permission for any reason at any time.

Copyright compliance. It is the policy of Beinecke Library that no entire collection or book can be copied or photographed. Readers agree to use digital surrogates for private research only. Readers must read and sign this copyright agreement form acknowledging that it is their responsibility to obtain relevant permission from copyright owners in the event they decide to publish their work.


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 reader makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that reader may be liable for copyright infringement. The reader agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Yale University 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.


Yale University Non‐disclosure Agreement. The materials that I have requested may contain Social Security numbers. I agree that I will not record, reproduce, or disclose any Social Security number that may be included in the materials that I have requested. I understand that violation of this Agreement may result in the loss of research privileges at Yale University. General Release. The reader agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Yale University 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