Library Research Skills Tutorial About the tutorial
Using Resources

Reproduction, copyright & citation


To obtain permission for any sort of photoduplication you must consult repository staff. Depending on any existing restrictions for a particular manuscript or collection, on your intended use of the photocopies, as well as on the size and condition of the items, permission may be granted. You will be asked to fill out and sign a form. Photocopying is then carried out by specialised staff in the repository, and usually by outside services in the case of photography or microfilming. Some repositories may also offer digital imaging and scanning services. The use of personal digital cameras or scanners may not be permitted, you will need to check before you visit.


If you intend to publish texts or images from a collection it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the owners of the copyright, typically the creator or the heirs to their estate. Repositories can only grant permission to publish texts or images for which they are the copyright holder, usually for a fee.

For more general information about copyright issues and your research consult the copyright section of this tutorial.

Citing manuscripts

You should always check with the repository on the correct citation form for a document when you publish texts or facsimiles from that repository's holdings. Typically, a reference to a document should consist of:

the place, the name of the library and the document's reference number or identifier

for medieval manuscripts, if known, also the manuscript's origin, date and provenance (in brackets)

Examples of manuscript citations:

London, Senate House Library, University of London, MS 1007/23

Durham, Cathedral Library, B. 4. 9 (s. x med.)

You may be required to present a copy of any publication that uses materials from the repository as soon as a work is published.

For more general information about citing the material you use in your research consult the Referencing and Bibliography section of this tutorial.

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