Department Blog

Special Collections

Lights! Camera! Action!

You may have noticed some new activity in the Special Collections Reading Room at UC Davis.  Brighter lights may be seen as patrons use digital cameras to take photographs. Special Collections has a pilot project to allow still cameras in the Reading Room.   Camera use reduces the need to handle materials when making photocopies and allows a more cost effective and accessible approach for our faculty, students, and traveling researchers.

Images for publication still need to be processed by staff in order to ensure high quality works. Patrons are required to sign off on handling rules and copyright regulations and to capture the information with each photograph taken that provides the UC Davis ownership and the item location for follow-up reference and retrieval, this is a continuation of current practice.

We have implemented a  daily fee of $10.00 for non-UC researchers and $8.00 for UC researchers when photographing manuscript collections.  This fee covers  the oversight of staff monitoring the handling of manuscript materials and provides the forms needed for our copying record keeping.  Books and serials may be photographed at no charge.  The department still maintains its regular photocopying and digital scanning services.

The new pilot service has already proved very popular with researchers.  In a single week in December, researchers from Great Britain, Finland, and Germany had their cameras in use.

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