DePaul University Library > Special Collections > Policies > Self-Service Photography Guidelines

Self-Service Photography Guidelines

Self-service photography is designed to provide convenience to researchers and to facilitate the efficient use of both researcher and Special Collections and Archives (SPCA) staff time. Please read on for guidelines that will help preserve our materials, create and maintain a Reading Room conducive to quiet study, and assist you with organizing your study materials.

Preservation of materials

  • Consult with SPCA staff for proper handling procedures.
  • Flatbed scanners are not allowed.
  • Do not press down on materials or bindings.
  • Bound volumes should not be laid flat; book pillows will be provided. Weight bags and snakes can help keep pages in place.
  • Archival materials must always be flat on the table and not held up in the air.
  • Loose materials must remain in their folder and in order at all times.
  • Take pictures of materials from one folder at a time, one item at a time, while the item is flat in its original folder.
  • Do not fold pages.
  • Do not remove fasteners;¬†ask for staff assistance.
  • Do not remove items from sleeves, mats, etc.
  • Ask for assistance with oversize, fragile or damaged materials.
  • Natural light must be used; no flash or additional light sources are allowed.

Reading Room Environment and Researcher Safety

  • Cameras must be silent (including cell phone cameras).
  • Copy stands or tripods must be approved by SPCA staff.
  • Pictures are taken at your own research table, and only of materials you have requested.
  • Pictures may not be taken of the Reading Room, staff, or other researchers.
  • No standing on chairs, tables, or step stools. No rearrangement of furniture. Be mindful of other researchers.

Proper Citations

  • When taking pictures of pages in a book, take pictures of the title page and copyright page before taking pictures of individual pages within. It may be helpful to include the call number bookmark tab in this image.
  • Make sure to include a citation strip or transparency identifying DePaul Special Collections and Archives as the location of these items in each photograph.
  • When taking pictures of items in an archival collection, make sure the folder name is visible in the image. Or, use citation strips provided by SPCA staff that will identify DePaul Special Collections and Archives, the collection name, box, and folder in each image.
  • Recording full citations of each item photographed is your responsibility. This information will help you construct a bibliography, or consult with the proper repository for additional research in the future. Subsequent orders for high-resolution images, or requests to publish, will not be processed without complete citations.
  • Please complete the Self-Service Photography List and take a picture of it for your records. Then turn the form in to Special Collections and Archives staff at the end of each visit. This information will help us to determine which collections are of most interest to researchers, and may be in need of additional preservation, access, or digitization work due to repeated use.

Please remember: These pictures are meant to alleviate, but not replace, note-taking. Careful reading and selection is still required. Researchers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code, Section 107).