Digital Photography Policy

The Morgan Library & Museum permits the use of personal digital cameras in its Sherman Fairchild Reading Room for photography of suitable items from its collection for research purposes only. Researchers who require images for publication or broadcast should contact the Imaging & Rights Department via their online order form or by e-mail Imaging & Rights Department.

Personal photography is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Advance curatorial approval of the photography request is required.
  2. The Morgan reserves the right to deny requests or revoke permission for personal photography of any of its collections because of donor restrictions, copyright restrictions, physical condition of the material, or any other reason. If the reason for denial is an object’s physical condition but conservation and curatorial staff determine that the object could be safely photographed by a staff photographer, the researcher may submit an order to the Imaging & Rights Department (
  3. Preservation of the collections is of highest priority. Materials must be handled in accordance with Reading Room policies and procedures. They must not be moved or manipulated to obtain photographs. Researchers may not stand on chairs or rearrange furniture. Tripods may not be used.
  5. Flash and audible features of cameras must be turned off. A test photograph will be taken to verify these settings. A wrist or neck strap must be used.
  6. Photographs may be used only for personal reference and research purposes, including live PowerPoint presentations, and may not be disseminated to third parties, published, or broadcast in any media or displayed online.
  7. Researchers may not take pictures of the Reading Room, staff members, or other researchers.
  8. It is the researcher’s responsibility to keep complete citations, including author, title, accession number, call number, and page number where appropriate.
  9. The researcher accepts full responsibility for determining whether or not US copyright law protects the material being photographed and whether or not his/her/their use exceeds the limits of the law.

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 reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a researcher makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that researcher may be liable for copyright infringement. The researcher agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Morgan Library & Museum against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of the Morgan’s materials.