Written permission is needed to reproduce images in a publication. Please use our electronic Permission to Publish/Use form or contact Special Collections for a paper copy.

Photocopy Policy

One of the primary goals of the Special Collections Department is to preserve materials that reflect the history of Massachusetts . Many of these items are unique and/or fragile. In order to preserve them the library allows photocopies only of materials that will not be harmed by the process. Special Collections staff will determine what materials can be photocopied and will then copy this material. Oversized volumes, atlases, some large maps, manuscript House and Senate Journals and fragile items cannot be photocopied. For these materials other reproduction options may be available. Check with library staff for specifics and pricing.

Black and white copies can by made on 8.5" x 11", 8.5" x 14", or 11" x 17" paper. The cost of copies is $.50 per page. In most instances, ten or fewer copies can be made at the time of request depending on staff availability. Copy requests greater than ten pages will be completed as staff time allows. Photocopied material can be mailed to patrons for a fee of $3.00. All orders are payable in advance by cash or check. Please make checks payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Foreign orders must be paid in U.S. funds.

Every effort will be made to provide clear and readable copies, but the researcher must understand that the library's primary goal is to preserve material. If the original is very dark or tightly bound with little interior margin, it will be impossible to get a good copy.

Some materials in Special Collections are available on microfilm or microfiche. Copies of this material can be made by the researcher at a cost of $0.25 per copy.

Permission to photocopy material is given for the convenience of the researcher and does not indicate permission to publish. The State Library of Massachusetts requires completion of a permission to publish/use form when items from the State Library are to be reproduced or used in a presentation of any kind. Click on the link below to download the permission to publish/use form. The State Library of Massachusetts does not claim to control the rights to reproduction and distribution for all materials in its collection. The publishing party assumes responsibility for all infringements of copyright or invasion of privacy:

Permission to Publish/Use Form doc format of Publishing Agreement.doc

Other Reproduction Options

Researchers Own Equipment
Materials in Special Collections may be photographed with permission of Special Collections staff. Researchers may bring their own photographic equipment (including digital cameras) to Special Collections, and a camera stand is available. Advance notice is appreciated. (Note: Encapsulated items will not be removed from their mylar encapsulation.)
In-House Scanning Services

The library can digitally capture most items in its collection, including books, maps, and atlases. Oversize items may need to be sent out of the library for reproduction:

Price Schedule for Photocopying and Digital Services pdf format of Reproduction Price Schedule Aug 2010.pdf

Commercial Reproduction
Boston Photo Imaging can provide digital surrogates of items that the library is unable to scan. Please contact Boston Photo Imaging directly to get an estimate: Special Collections is responsible only for delivering and picking up items. To arrange a drop off of materials, contact the Special Collections Department.
Boston Photo ImagingSpecial Collections
355 Boylston StreetRoom 55, State House
Boston, MA 02116Boston, MA 02133
617.450.4351(617) 727-2595/2590 (Ph.)
contact: Carol Smith(617) 727-5819 (Fax)

For preservation purposes, the library will send items out to be scanned only once. Digital reproduction, therefore, entails making a copy of the digital file, paid for by the patron, for the Library's collection. In this manner, Special Collections has acquired a small digital archive. Check with Special Collections to determine if digital files of items already exist.

This information is provided by The State Library of Massachusetts.