Dear all,


In response to Nick’s e-mail I thought it might be useful to let list members know the NRM’s policy.


We do allow digital photography by researchers, but with certain controls and procedures.  Users are required to sign a declaration which stipulates that they are taking the images for private research only, that they will not supply copies to anyone in any media, they won’t publish them (including on-line publication) without prior consultation, and that they undertake not to infringe copyright.  We register all users so the form can be matched against their details should there be any need for follow-up.  We also insist that flash is switched off and that staff are consulted before any photography takes place.  We also empower our front of house team to say no and to halt any photography if they think documents are being damaged or anything untoward is taking place.  Photography takes place in our invigilated study room, so any abuses are easily spotted, and the front of house assistants can call upon a duty curator to reinforce their decisions.


After a year of operation we haven’t had any major issues with this policy, our users seem happy to comply with the procedure.  We’ve also had some good feedback from engineering groups and modellers who find they can manipulate the digital images they take of engineering drawings to highlight particular crucial details.



Tim Procter

National Railway Museum

Tel. 01904 686 206

From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mays, Nick
Sent: 19 March 2009 10:14
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Digital Photography in search rooms


Dear list members,


We are beginning to get requests from researchers to be allowed to make digital photographs of documents they are using in our search room rather than be provided with photocopies.  Strangely I have never had to deal with a request for a film camera to be used in the search room and I can only assume it must have been due to practicality and cost.  The principal issues seem to be permissibility, quantity of images made, ownership of copyright of the image, loss of control of usage beyond provision for reference use only and charging.  With photocopies we, like most repositories, stamp the copies with a statement that they are provided for reference purposes only and that permission is necessary for reproduction or publication.  Obviously this is not possible with digital photographs.  I was wondering how other repositories have reacted to these requests and what policies and agreement forms have been drawn up where digital photography is permitted.


Your views and advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


Many thanks,


Nick Mays



Nicholas Mays


News International Limited

1 Virginia Street

London E98 1ES

United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 (0)20 7782 6890

Fax:  +44 (0)20 7782 3967




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