The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is  open to reading room appointments for the Cornell community and visitors (see details).

Please contact us with research and instructional support questions.  We invite you to explore our digital collections and online exhibitions as well.

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) 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, RMC is owner of the physical object only. For additional information, please 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 website of the DCAPS digital imaging studio.

Please direct questions about permission to publish to rareref@cornell.edu and questions about reproductions to rarerepro@cornell.edu.

What to Expect

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. 

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.

Turn-around Time

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

Payment and Pricing


  • Please see our price list 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.


  • Format Fees
    • 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 reel: $200 per reel
    • PDF of microfilm: $50 per reel
    • PDF of thesis: $50 per thesis
  • Service Fees
    • Normal (usually 6-8 weeks): $15 per order
    • Rush (less than 3 weeks): $40 per order
  • Delivery Fees
    • Digital file download: no fee

How to Request Reproductions

Below are instructions for how to request reproductions of RMC collection material:

  • After you've identified material that you want to request a reproduction of, locate the collection's catalog record by searching the library catalog
  • Once you're in the collection's catalog record click the "Request item for scanning" button under "Availability."
  • On the "RMC Scanning Request" page:
    • For archival collections, select the correct box, and then indicate the folder number, and if applicable, the pages you want.
    • For books, theses, etc. designate if there are specific pages you would like.
  • After selecting the materials to be scanned, select the appropriate format, the time frame in which you need the scan (normal or rush), and the delivery method. Include any relevant notes to help us locate what you need. Click the "Yes, Submit Request" button.
  • 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, see "Find & Request Our Resources" for more information. Otherwise, log in with your already existing username and password. Please click the log in button, even if you are already logged in, or we will not receive the request.

For what to expect after you've submitted your reproduction request, see "Reproduction Order Instructions" on the "Reproductions & Permissions" page of our website.

Permission to Publish

Patrons seeking permission to publish materials held by RMC should email their requests to rareref@cornell.edu. 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.