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Permissions needed to make copies

To make a copy, do I need the Library’s permission as well as the copyright owner’s permission?

Copying  that does not need the Library’s permission

If you copy items from the Library’s collections without seeking any additional permission from us, you accept the responsibility to make sure you do not infringe copyright or moral rights, as set out in the section on your responsibilities. If you ask the Library to do the copying for you, you will be asked to complete paperwork that confirms that either the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained or no such permission is necessary (for instance because an exception applies).

Copying that does need the Library’s permission   

In contrast, some collection items may have access restrictions that require permission from the Library before you copy them. This permission does not relate to any copyright in the item, but relates to collection management issues, such as handling items with care and ensuring the Library is properly attributed.

Some particularly fragile or valuable works can only be copied by Library staff on your behalf, and you need to order these copies through the Library's copy ordering service.

The Library's permission to copy items with access restrictions is needed for two reasons:

  • We need to check which special restrictions apply to the works. A special restriction may apply, for example, because we agreed to a request by a collection donor that they retain control of copying for a certain period, even though they may not own copyright in the works they donated. These restrictions are often requested because the material contains private or sensitive information.
  • We need to secure your agreement to cite the creator and title of the original or unpublished work you are copying, and to acknowledge the Library as the owner. That way, anyone who comes across your reproduction can trace the material back to the Library's collection. The Library does not charge for permission to reproduce from its collections.

Requests to copy items from the Library's collections that require permission must be placed through our online copy ordering service

By completing the order form you agree to the terms and conditions of the service, and if any additional permission is required by the Library you will be contacted and provided with information on how to supply this permission.

Copying digitised material from the Library’s collections

You may find digital copies of items from the Library’s collections, such as photographs, paintings, diaries, letters or recorded interviews, on the Library’s website. Where this material is out of copyright it may be freely used provided the Library and the creator are acknowledged; however, the Library does not endorse any inappropriate or derogatory use.

Use of digital copies of in-copyright material requires a request for permission unless your use falls within one of the exceptions, such as research or study. You need to ask the Library’s permission to use in copyright material because a copyright owner may have allowed us to put a copy on our website but not allowed us to authorise uses beyond research or study. When you ask us for permission to copy the material, we will tell you whether copyright or any other restrictions apply.