Special Collections Duplication Services

The Special Collections Research Center duplicates materials from its collections for patrons for private study, scholarship, or research.

While the University of Michigan owns the objects in our collections, it does not hold copyright to these materials unless copyright has been explicitly transferred to the university.

Duplication Policies

Our staff can provide each registered user with up to 100 numbered pages or 2 archival folders from our materials per calendar month (exceptions negotiable). We may not fulfill duplication requests, if fulfillment encroaches on effective and equitable service to other users.  Delivery of straight-forward requests for basic-quality images typically takes about two weeks from the date of request submission. Requests for high-quality images or other complicated requests require more than two weeks for fulfillment, and our staff will be able to update you on the status of such requests once processing has begun. At this time, we are unable to accept requests for high-quality images of bound material, oversized material, and oddly shaped items. Requests for high-quality images of these materials can be placed beginning in March. We regret the inconvenience. Please direct questions to special.collections@umich.edu.

Requests for any type of duplication are evaluated by staff and approved based on material format, physical condition and any applicable restrictions.

Special Collections is currently offering duplication service free of charge. This applies only to requests that can be completed "in-house."

Any request that, based on the condition of the materials and the best judgment of our staff, would require external handling would be subject to the fees charged by those departments who handle such requests. Patrons will be notified of estimates for these costs – typically between $25 and $50 per image – before digitization work is done and fees charged.

We welcome feedback about the pricing of this service.


The University of Michigan Library is committed to supporting research and scholarship involving use of the library's collections. Toward this end, the Library provides copies of material for private study, scholarship, or research.
If you use duplicated material from the library’s collections for other purposes, you are responsible for evaluating copyright issues and obtaining any necessary permission.

Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials. The library maintains some resources on copyright that may be helpful to you. Our guide on Copyright Basics contains information about assessing the public domain status of a work and assessing your rights to use the work under copyright law. Obtaining Copyright Permissions explains how to obtain permission from the copyright holder when that is necessary. If you have questions related to these resources, please contact the Library Copyright Office.


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 specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction 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 may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Use and Attribution

We are eager to hear about how you are using materials from our collections. Please use this form to tell us about your plans. This helps us understand and facilitate the work our collections support and enables us to provide you with the best citation for the material you are using. Complete citations will vary in content and format according to the material being used, but all captions, citations, etc. should include the credit line/attribution “University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center).”

When we receive information via this form, we, as owners of the physical item, provide a letter acknowledging the use. Our letter of acknowledgement does not convey any copyright permission. For more information about your responsibilities under copyright law, see the previous section.

How to Request Duplication

Register with the Special Collections Research Center

You must be a registered user to request duplication of material held by the Special Collections Research Center. You can find instructions for registration and creating your Special Collections Request Account on our website.

How to Request Duplication from U-M Library Catalog Search (online catalog), or Subject Vertical File listing

1. If you have identified an online record for the material that you are seeking, click on the “request this” button to navigate to a reading room request form.   Do not submit this form.
2. On this form there is a link that says “Switch to Duplication Request.”  Follow this link to navigate to a new duplication request.
3. Complete the duplication request form with the requisite details and click "Submit."

How to Request Duplication of Archival or Uncataloged Material

For materials described by an online finding aid or not indexed/described in U-M Library Catalog Search or the list of Subject Vertical Files:
1. Log in to your account.
2. In the menu on the left of the page, click on "Request Duplication" (under “Duplication”).
3. Once in the “New Duplication Request” form, enter the details of your request. Please provide as much detail as possible.
4. If you are requesting material from multiple folders in an archive, please submit a separate duplication request for each folder.

Access to Delivered Items

When we have completed your duplication request, you will receive an email notification.  In most cases, you will be able to download delivered files from your account by clicking on the "Delivered Items" link under "Duplication."  In the event of a single request resulting in multiple files to be delivered, the email notification will contain a link to a different page where you will be able to download these files.

Alternatives to Special Collections Duplication Services

Patron-captured images

Users consulting materials in the reading room can capture their own images.  Our policies and procedures regarding cameras and scanners in the reading room are described in our registration terms and conditions.

U-M Library Digital Library Platform & Services (DLPS) Request for Digitization Service

If the digital version of an item would be eligible for inclusion in the HathiTrust Digital Library via the Michigan Digitization Project, that item would be eligible for “Request for Digitization.”  Generally, printed works published prior to 1923 are eligible for these requests,  though all requests also must be approved by the appropriate Special Collections curator.   For more information or to submit such a request, please see the DLPS website.

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Last modified: 01/13/2020