Camera use by researchers in the Reading Room

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Researchers may take photographs of collection materials as allowed by the library, based on the physical condition of the materials, copyright law, donor restrictions and reading room regulations. This policy falls under the rubric of the Reading Room policy that applies to all scholars and researchers who visit the Folger Shakespeare Library.

  • Classroom use is encouraged, as is use for personal study, scholarship, research and other noncommercial activities.
  • Social media use of personal photographs or Folger-created digital images is encouraged! When you share, please use the hashtag #FolgerFinds.
  • Photographs may be made for personal or noncommercial uses, provided that researchers include copyright notice where applicable, and the statement “Photo by [Your Name Here], [call #, signature/folio/page/etc.], courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.”
  • Images for commercial publication or commercial distribution in any format must be ordered through the library at set fees.
  • Readers must provide their own cameras.
  • No flash, tripods or other equipment may be used.
  • Scanners of any sort are not permitted.
  • Cameras must be set on ‘mute’ so as not to disturb others.
  • Appropriate foam book supports must be used for all bound items.
  • Do not press down on materials or bindings.
  • Unbound materials must be kept flat on the table.
  • Manuscripts in folders must remain in the order in which they were delivered.
  • Do not remove any fasteners.
  • Do not remove items from mylar sleeves.
  • No materials may be placed on the floor.
  • Standing on tables or chairs is not permitted.
  • Rearrangement of chairs, tables or lamps is not permitted.
  • No photographs of the staff, other researchers or the reading rooms may be taken.
  • It is your responsibility to keep accurate citations, including shelf marks and page numbers, for all items photographed.
  • Please limit the number of photographs to a reasonable amount. Photographs are meant to alleviate photocopying and supplement note taking, not to create a complete personal copy.
  • The Library reserves the right to deny or revoke permission to photograph any of its collection materials.

Copies of the above policy must be signed and dated by researchers wishing to photograph collection materials.