Reading Room Photography

Policies and Procedures

The American Antiquarian Society allows readers to use their own devices to take photographs of suitable items, for research purposes only, at no cost. The purpose of this policy is to supplement note taking, not to allow readers to create a complete personal copy. For more extensive requests AAS offers professional-quality images in a variety of formats for a fee. Please see Obtaining Digital Images - A step-by-step guide.

The policy guidelines for personal reading room photography are as follows:

  • All reading room policies for handling materials will be enforced. Items in folders must be kept flat, bound items kept in cradles. Materials may not be manipulated to produce a better image.
  • No flash, scanners, tripods, special lighting or extra equipment are permitted.
  • As a courtesy to other readers, please mute your devices.
  • AAS encourages the use of an AAS source card in each image. Source cards are available at the reference desk.

AAS offers reproduction services as an aid to scholarly research in accordance with its mission to provide access to materials while preserving them for the use of future generations. Copies of collection materials are provided to scholars and researchers for use in specific projects, not for general library acquisitions. The Society limits copying requests to those permitted under the copyright law. Public Law 94-553, section 107 (fair use) and 108 (reproduction by libraries and archives). It is the responsibility of the researcher to know and to comply with all copyright provisions. If you have concerns or questions about copyright, please review the very helpful summary compiled by the Cornell University Copyright Information Center.

In registering for your MWA account, you have agreed to comply with the above policies and guidelines. If you wish to use images for publication, please contact the Society at reproductions [at] (reproductions[at]mwa[dot]org).