Guidelines for Copying and Obtaining Digitized Material

    To assist with research, the Church History Library allows a variety of methods for copying and digitizing materials in its collections.

    Copying Items in the Open Stacks 

    Researchers are responsible for making their own copies from materials in the open stacks, which is the collection of books, periodicals, and microforms available in the main public area. Copies cost $0.05 (black and white) or $0.30 (color) per page, but there is no charge for scanning images to a flash drive. When making photocopies, researchers must use a payment card, available in $2.00 or $5.00 amounts. Flash drives are also available for purchase at the library for $7.00. Please note that exact change is required when using cash to purchase payment cards or flash drives.

    Copying Items in the Reading Room 

    Researchers may obtain copies of items that are open to research from the secure stacks. Such copies are for note-taking purposes only. If researchers require large portions of an item or collection, they should request that the item be digitized through the Church History Catalog. The following are approved processes for obtaining copies of materials that are open to research:

    Digitized materials 

    • If an item is digitized and available for download, researchers may download images directly from the Church History Catalog by clicking the Download icon in the viewer.

    • To request that an item be digitized or to obtain a higher-resolution image, researchers can click the Ask Us link in the catalog.

    Microform materials 

    • For items on microform (either microfilm or microfiche), researchers may scan images to a flash drive or other portable storage device using the equipment provided.

    Hard copy materials 

    • Please note that hard copy materials are used only when no other format is available. Making photocopies of original materials is not permitted.

    • Researchers may take pictures of materials using cameras or other photographic tools on personal electronic devices, such as cell phones or tablets. Such copies may be made for private study or scholarly research.

    • Handheld or tabletop scanning devices are not permitted in the reading room.

    The following rules apply to researchers using photography: 

    • The use of flash is not permitted.

    • Lighting equipment is not permitted.

    • Archival materials must remain in their protective housings.

    • Items must remain on the tables.

    • If the item is oversized or requires special handling, researchers should request digitization.

    • Researchers may not stand on furniture to photograph materials.

    • Researchers may not photograph library staff, other researchers, or the facility.

    • Cell phones being used for photography must be silenced.

    The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Researchers must determine and satisfy all copyright or other restrictions when using, copying, publishing, or distributing any material found in the library’s collection. For more copyright information, visit copyright.gov.

    Requests for permission to use, copy, publish, or distribute materials held by the Church History Library may be submitted online at permissions.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. For more information, please consult Information Regarding Rights to Use Materials in the Church History Catalog. If researchers plan to scan or photograph large portions of a collection, they should suggest digitization through the Church History Catalog.

    Suggesting Digitization 

    Researchers may request that materials be digitized and made available by the Church History Library. Requests must be made online via the Church History Catalog and can be submitted from any location with internet access. Once a record has been identified, the researcher should click the Ask Us button found in the top right corner of the catalog page. A web form will open that must be completed with the researcher’s contact information and should include the information listed below. Once the researcher clicks Submit at the bottom of the form, the request is forwarded to our digitization team.

    When submitting a digitization request, researchers should: 

    • Give the call number, title of the collection, and any applicable box or folder numbers.

    • Describe the reason for the request, including what the collection will be used for and if the request is for a Church calling.

    • State any specific deadlines.

    • Submit the request several months before the intended use.

    Upon receipt of the request, the Library staff reviews the request and notifies researchers if the request cannot be filled. Otherwise, collections are digitized, reviewed, and published online. A link is sent via email once the images are available online. Because of the large number of requests, digitization requests may take several months to complete. Requests are completed in the order received. Researchers are asked to be courteous and limit their requests.

    Our staff makes digitization decisions based on our Access Policy. If a request is denied, it is likely because the requested collection does not meet a requirement for access.