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Scanning Policies

Policy on Providing Digital Surrogates of Special Collections Holdings

This policy governs the creation of digital surrogates of Special Collections holdings, with the exception of audiovisual materials, at the University of Maryland Libraries requested by University of Maryland faculty, staff, and students; individuals from other institutions; commercial entities; and individual researchers.

The Use of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books form and the Digital Surrogate Request Form, fully and correctly completed and signed, are required for each request. It is the responsibility of the requester to obtain the permission of the individual or entity that controls the intellectual property residing in the item or items to be copied prior to the initiation of any order for digital surrogates, when appropriate. Permission is not required for materials that are in the public domain. The requester must have proof of the copyright status for each surrogate requested in order to complete the Digital Surrogate Request Form. See Copyright Information below.

All images will be provided as JPG files at an optimum resolution specified by the Best Practice Guidelines for Digital Collections at the UM Libraries. Other file formats, such as TIFF or PDF, can be requested on the Digital Surrogate Request Form, but will be subject to curatorial approval.

Fee Structure

General Fees

  • $10.00 initiation fee for all orders initiated by mail, phone, email, or fax
    • This fee covers up to one hour of staff time, U. S. postage, and the media on which the surrogate(s) is (are) reproduced (CD-ROM or DVD). Requesters may not provide their own media
  • $5.00 fee per digital surrogate ($3.00 fee per digital surrogate for UMD students)
  • $25.00 per work hour fee for audio visual material reproductions
  • Special Collections staff will strive to complete all orders within ten working days of receipt

Additional Fees

  • International mail and courier services
  • Any request for digital surrogates that exceeds one hour of staff time to complete may be assessed a $25/hour fee. For example:
    • Locating and flagging all of the items in the order
    • Facilitating digitization of oversized materials
    • Facilitating digitization of "rush" orders

Refusals and Waivers

  • Requests by University faculty, staff, and students for waiver of fees may be directed in writing to the appropriate curator
  • UMD Libraries' Special Collections staff reserve the right to refuse any digitization request based on condition of the materials and staff availability
  • Libraries' staff reserve the right to refuse to accept a request to digitize material if, in their judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law

Oversized Materials

  • "Oversized Materials" are items that are too large to be digitized on Special Collections equipment, i.e., items larger than 11" x 17"
  • There will be a charge for each portion of oversized items in good condition that can safely be captured in multiple surrogates. For example, a map captured in two pieces will be assessed a fee for two separate digital surrogates
  • Libraries' staff will not provide stitching or digital enhancement services for oversized materials scanned in-house
  • Digitization of fragile materials may be outsourced, at curator discretion, to an approved vendor. In such cases, the fees are set by the vendor and paid by the person requesting the work

Payment Procedures

  • Fees will be collected before orders are completed. The following methods of payment are accepted:
    • Cash
    • Checks or money orders payable to "University of Maryland"
    • Credit card payment (minimum $10 charge)
    • UMD Internal Services Request (ISR) forms from on-campus departments or units
    • Wire transfer (for international requests only, $15.00 surcharge)
  • UMCP Internal Services Request (ISR) forms will be accepted from on-campus departments or units.

Personal Cameras and Scanners

Researchers have permission to photograph Special Collections holdings using personal cameras. Personal scanners are not permitted. Please refer to the Policy on the Use of Cameras and Scanners in the UMD Libraries Special Collections Reading Rooms for further information. A curator or other Libraries' staff member may refuse to fulfill a request to allow researchers to photograph or scan original materials if he/she determines that doing so would damage them, e.g., if materials are too fragile or are very large. All users of personal cameras must complete a Use of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books form prior to making photographs or other surrogates. As to copyright, patrons are responsible for determining what uses are lawful and to obtain any required permissions and pay any required fees. The University of Maryland does not hold copyright in most materials in the collections of the Libraries.

Copyright Information

The Libraries generally do not own the copyright to materials in their holdings. Unless the University is the owner of the copyright, the Libraries cannot grant or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in their collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond what is deemed a fair use of those items under copyright law requires the written permission of the copyright owners. It is the requester's obligation to determine if a particular use is fair and to obtain permission to engage in a use that is not fair. However, the very nature of some Special Collections materials makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine who is the owner of copyright in such materials and what restrictions on use, if any, apply. The Libraries will furnish any available information regarding the copyright owner and restrictions on use for particular materials. They cannot and will not make any warranty or representation, express or implied, oral or in writing, that a particular use of Special Collections material is not an infringement of any copyright or property right of any third party. It is entirely the responsibility of the requester to determine and ensure that use of material fully complies with copyright law and other possible restrictions on use. For more information on how to research copyright, please see the Copyright Statement and Use Policies information at the University of Maryland's Digital Collections Web page.

The Libraries recognize that digitized reproductions of copyrighted materials are characterized by attributes that make them particularly susceptible to infringing uses. For example, a primary attribute of digitized works is the ease and speed with which digital surrogates can be reproduced in print or electronic format and distributed or transmitted over networks to great numbers of recipients. Similarly, digital surrogates can be displayed electronically at many locations at once, calling into play the exclusive right of the copyright holder to control public display. Finally, digital surrogates can be easily manipulated in a computer, by distorting, modifying, or deleting content or copyright ownership and other information, thereby compromising the reliability of the underlying work.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. It is entirely the responsibility of the requester to determine and ensure that use of materials fully complies with copyright law and with other possible restrictions on use.

The Libraries reserve the right to refuse to accept a request to digitize material if, in the judgment of Libraries staff, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Requesters must certify that they have received permission from the copyright holder when appropriate. Information about necessary permissions appears on the Digital Surrogate Request Form.


When citing materials in the Libraries' collections, the requester understands and agrees to include the following information in the citation: a copyright notice (if the copyright holder is known); acknowledgment of the photographer, if applicable; the title of the collection; and the credit line, "Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries."

For example: May Queen 1969; copyright University of Maryland; Michael Parker, photographer; Adele Stamp papers; Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.