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Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University: Reproductions

Order Reproductions

Yale Library special collections provide broad access to their collection materials for personal research use, teaching, and educational purposes, under the provisions of Title 17, Section 108 of United States copyright law.

Instructions for ordering reproductions of items from the library's special collections are included below. If you have any questions, please contact the specific owning repository. Contact information for special collection units at Yale can be found on the Home page of this guide.

You will receive a confirmation email once the processing of your order begins. Due to a heavy volume of requests, turnaround time after confirmation to digitize the materials requested is currently 10 - 14 weeks.* This is only an estimate. Your order may take a different amount of time, depending on the complexity of order, condition of material, and availability of staff. We will do our best to keep to that turnaround time, but circumstances may make the process take longer. We do not accommodate requests for rush digitization orders. 

How to Submit a Request

To initiate a photoduplication request, you must be registered to use Special Collections at Yale.  If you have not yet registered in the system, you’ll need to create a new account. More information is available in the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale: Register.

How to submit a request:

  1. Find the item you want in one of the Yale Library catalogs (OrbisQuicksearch, or Archives at Yale). For further details about finding special collections materials see Find and Request. The steps for requesting images varies slightly between systems.

  2. Requesting from Archives at Yale
    1. Find and select the file you are interested in and click "Request"
    2. Currently, the only Type of request option is Reading Room, so simply click "Submit Request"
    3. Log into your account.
    4. Click "Main Menu" in the upper left corner.
    5. Under Requests in Progress, find the item and click the "Details" button.
    6. Click "Inquire About Digitization"
    7. Scroll through the New Photoduplication Request form, fill in "Format" (PDF, TIFF, JP2, etc.) from the drop down, add any important information about your order in the "Notes" field, and click "Submit."
  3. If you discovered the item in Orbis or Quicksearch:
    1. Select the repository where the item is located from the drop-down menu.
    2. Copy all relevant data from the item record in Orbis or Quicksearch, including, Call Number, Title, Author, Volume, to the corresponding fields in the request form. (ignore any drop-down menu data that pops up)
    3. Select your desired digital file format.
    4. Use the "Notes" field to fill in any other details that will help us fulfill your request.
    5. Submit the request.

Service Details

Please note that all requests are subject to review by Yale Library Access Services staff. The library reserves the right to revise an order due to preservation concerns or time constraints. If an order must be changed to a different format, the patron will be notified of the change.


Turnaround time and delivery

  • Due to heavy volume of requests, our recent turnaround time has been 10-14 weeks.  We are adjusting our workflows to meet current demand. We do not accommodate requests for rush digitization orders.
  • Files will be delivered electronically, and may arrive in multiple transfers over time

Order Limits

  • Bound Volumes: Book, non-illuminated: Up to 600 pages from 2 volumes
  • Oversize Items (e.g. maps, posters, blueprints - larger than 24 x 18 inches): 15-20 items
  • Unbound Documents: Up to 4 folders
  • Photographs & Prints: Up to 600 prints
  • Pamphlets: Up to 600 pages from 1-4 pamphlets


  • The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these conditions is that the copy is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user will be liable for any copyright infringement. For further information about copyright, permissions and fair use, see Copyright Guidance: Basics.


  • Scans of paper materials are provided as 400 ppi color PDFs. All pages are combined into a single PDF file for each volume / folder of material requested. If you require higher quality images or different formats, please indicate the desired format and resolution on the photoduplication form.
  • Copies of materials that are already in digital form (born digital), will be provided in their native format.


  • Orders for document scans are free at this time.  Charges for AV digitization are outlined below.


  • Yale Library’s digitized audiovisual collections are available in Aviary. Patrons are encouraged to check there before placing their order.
  • Audiovisual materials are digitized in line with Yale University Library's digitization guidelines.
  • Turnaround time is approximately 6-8 weeks
  • If the materials requested are already available digitally but are not available in Aviary, you will be contacted with an offer to stream the recordings for 30 days, free of charge.