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Cornell University

Rare and Manuscript Collections: Reproductions and Permissions

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library


The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections provides digital photoduplication services of most materials in our collections. All duplication orders are subject to the following conditions:

  • Curatorial approval
  • Physical condition of the item
  • Donor-imposed restrictions
  • Limited staff time and resources

Users of the collections are also expected to abide by all copyright laws. Reproductions are provided for research use only and may not be transferred, published, or exhibited without obtaining the legally required permission from the copyright owner. In many instances, the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is owner of the physical object only. For additional information, refer to the Guidelines for Using Text, Images, Audio, and Video from Cornell University Library Collections.

All high-resolution digital reproduction work is completed by the Cornell University Library's Digital Consulting and Production Services. For information about equipment used, please refer to the web site of the DCAPS digital imaging studio.

Please direct questions about permission to publish to


  • If it's archival material, search first for a Finding Aid, so that you can narrow down specific boxes and folders. See the "Find our Resources" tab, for more information. Please note the title of the collection from the top of the guide (e.g. "John Nolen papers") so that you can find it in the online catalog.
  • For all materials, search for the title of the work or archival collection in our online catalog: 
  • Click the link that says "Request Item for Scanning," as shown below


  • For archival collections, select the correct box, and folder number. For books, theses, etc. designate if there are specific pages you would like.
  • Select the appropriate format, the time frame in which you need the scan, and the delivery method. Include any relevant notes to help us locate what you need. Click "submit."
  • You will then be prompted to log into the system. If you haven't yet created an account, you may do so at this point. Otherwise, log in with your already existing username and password. Please click the button to log in, even if you are already logged in, or we will not receive the request.


Turn-around time, Pricing and Payment

Turnaround time

  • All orders are processed in the order they are received.
  • Approximate turnaround periods vary based on material format and demand, but plan on three to four weeks.
  • We are unable to provide technical or graphic editing assistance once you have the files.

Pricing and payment

  • Please see our Price list in the section below for complete pricing information.
  • All orders must be paid for in advance.
  • Staff cannot fulfill requests until the charges are paid.
  • All payments must be made in U.S. currency.
  • Payments by cash, money order, or a check drawn on a U.S. bank can be mailed to us.
  • Payments may be made by credit card using our online payment system.

Permission to publish

Patrons seeking permission to publish materials held by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections should email their requests to the Permissions Coordinator. Permission will be considered where Cornell University is the materials' copyright owner. Permission requests must include:

  • Title of publication
  • Expected date of publication
  • Type of publication (scholarly, general, etc.)
  • Expected print run or distribution
  • Country of publication

Published images of materials in our collections should be cited as follows:

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Price List

Items in our collections are often rare, fragile and/or irreplaceable. Photoduplication of these items requires careful handling to prevent damage from physical misuse, exposure to light, etc. Reproductions are performed by professional photographers and library staff, trained in the use of scanners and cameras that are designed to minimize potential damage. Reproduction requests are priced accordingly.

Orders that are large, complex, or have vague location information require time-intensive research and data collection by library staff.  Specialized services such as image research are priced at $65 per hour.

Patrons who visit our reading room to view materials are welcome to bring cameras to photograph items themselves, provided the flash is disabled.

We do not provide paper photocopies.  All scans are delivered as digital files as outlined below.

Format: Fee:
Existing digital file $10 per image
PDF $1 per page
TIFF 600 dpi $35 per image
TIFF 600 dpi (items over 12x17") $45 per image
MP3 of audio $75 per item
MP4 of video $75 per item
MP4 of film $200 per reel
PDF of microfilm $50 per reel
PDF of thesis $50 per thesis
Service Fee:
Normal (usually 3-4 weeks) $15 per order
Rush (less than 3 weeks) $40 per order
Digital file download no charge
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