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Photographic services

Private photography or video

Researchers are permitted to use their own cameras in the library reading rooms, subject to consultation with the library staff concerning the suitability of the documents concerned for photography.

The use of flash photography, photographic lighting and tripods is not permitted in the library. This is to avoid disruption to the work of other readers and to allow free movement for people using the library. If you wish to use such photographic equipment, separate arrangements must be made with the reading room staff.

Readers are advised it is necessary to produce or obtain a photographic permit for the use of your own camera in the library reading rooms. The permits can be either for one day or there is an annual permit.

For further information regarding photographic permits please see the Photographic permits and use of cameras webpage.

However, because of the disruption, which may be caused to other readers, the use of photographic equipment in the library reading rooms is restricted. During normal weekday opening hours readers wishing to take photographs of documents may do so using a hand-held camera only, without flash. At these times the use of tripods, lighting umbrellas and other pieces of photographic equipment is not permitted, due to disruption to the work of other readers. Alternatively readers may make an appointment to carry out photography using more extensive equipment on a Saturday morning at the William Salt Library. If you wish to do this, you are asked to discuss this fully with the library staff in advance of your visit.

Please note that it is not possible to take documents outside to photograph them.

Digital copying of documents

We are now able to offer digital images of documents (subject to the restrictions outlined above) either as an electronic image or as a print out onto paper. Wherever possible we scan documents, but this is also subject to the restrictions laid down in the library's preservation policy. If photography is the only option available due to the format or physical condition of the documents we will inform you and give you an estimate of the costs. For more information please see our photographic and scanning services webpage.

Unprocessed digital images from newspapers

The William Salt Library is also able to offer digital images from newspapers for download from an FTP server at a cost of £5.00 per image. This service is only for the supply of digital images of identified columns/sections of local newspapers within the library collection. Search fees would be charged in addition where it is not possible to locate the required section quickly. The images that will be supplied are raw, unprocessed images of the relevant extracts from the newspapers. The images will only be available for download on the FTP server for 8 weeks from the date of the notification.

Please note that this service is meant purely for research purposes. For better quality images suitable for display, publication, etc it is recommended that the digital copying service mentioned above is used.

Ordering and payment

If you would like to use the above services please contact the library via email to obtain a quote for the material that you would like copying and for the relevant order form.

The charges for photography and scanning can be found on the library's fees and charges page.


All requests for the reproduction of material must be put in writing to the William Salt Library before publication. Verbal permissions cannot be given in person or over the telephone. A facility fee is payable for this service. See William Salt Library fees and charges for more information.

The William Salt Library also reserves the right to ask for a copy of the publication.

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