SOAS University of London

Library Copyright Guidance: Special Collections Material

Copying restrictions apply to items in the custody of the Library's Special Collections department, because of their rarity and for conservation reasons. For copying purposes, Special Collections material falls into the following categories:

  • Items on open access in the Special Collections Reading Room may normally be copied by users using the Library's self-service photocopiers, under fair dealing for private study or research, SOAS's CLA licence (see Photocopying Library material), or the provisions in copyright law which allow the Reproduction of Library materials, as appropriate. Permission must be obtained from a member of staff before removing any item from the Special Collections Reading Room.
  • Archives, manuscripts, rare books and PhD theses cannot be photocopied by users. The Special Collections department does not currently offer a copying service: see Special Collections' web pages for further information.

At the discretion of staff, users may be permitted to photograph items which they are consulting in the Special Collections Reading Room. Users may copy items themselves under "fair dealing" (or other copyright provisions). However, the user is responsible for ensuring that their photography complies with copyright law. Images made in this way are subject to restrictions, in particular, the user must not have previously received a copy of the item; must not supply a copy of the image to any other person; and must not use the image other than for private study or non-commercial research.

The copying or publication of items in Special Collections may also be subject to restrictions and charges imposed by the depositor of the material, even where the item is out of copyright.

Enquiries relating to the copying and publication of Special Collections material should be directed to the Special Collections team. See Special Collections' web pages for contact details.

Last updated November 2017