The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum offers a range of copying facilities for researchers, which can be accessed during a study visit or ordered online. 

All copy requests are assessed by Library staff who supervise Readers throughout the copying process. Due to the delicate nature of our collections, some items cannot be copied. Materials are assessed for suitability by Library staff at the point of request. Copying material from our Library and Archive is also subject to document handling restrictions and the Data Protection Act 1998. It is the responsibility of the Reader to ensure their copying activity does not infringe copyright law.

Useful downloads

Archive and Library copying charges

PDF iconDigital scanning payment form

Copying policy

Copying methods

Readers can obtain copies of items held in the Library and Archive collection through the following methods:
  1. Personal non-flash digital cameras (e.g. digital and smartphone cameras). There are restrictions on photographing some items.
  2. Digital imaging, photocopying and photography by Reader under staff supervision
  3. Printing from microfilm scanners by Reader under staff supervision
  4. Professional digital imaging by Archive and Library staff (advanced online orders only)
  5. Professional photography by the Royal Museums Greenwich Photo Studio

Copying methods not permitted

  • Camcorders
  • Hand-held scanning devices
  • Flash photography
  • Photographing images displayed on the Ship Plan Viewer

Items that cannot be copied

Manuscript material on loan to the Museum unless agreed with the owner. Ask staff for details.
  • 'Original' photographic prints, and prints for which no negative is held by the Museum
  • Fragile and/or damaged items
  • Photocopies
  • Ephemera eg Sheet music, scrapbooks and albums
  • Information subject to the Data Protection Act (1998)
  • Prints and drawings (copies ordered through the Museum Picture Library)

Copying services in the Caird Library and Archive

Readers are encouraged to use the kiosk scanner in the Caird Library and Archive and personal non-flash cameras (eg digital camera and smart phones) to make copies of items from the collections.
Copying exceptions apply to many items in our collections, ask Library staff for details. Readers must also follow Royal Museums Greenwich policy and guidelines for copying.

Policy and guidelines in brief

  • Copies can be made for research and private study for non-commercial purposes, such as personal research and study, criticism, review and news reporting.
  • Readers who wish to copy copyright works (excluding Crown Copyright) must first seek permission from the copyright holder.
  • Unless it is impractical, the source of all copies must be acknowledged.
  • You should only make and hold a single copy at any one time. If you print or transfer an image, you must delete the original image.
  • For further use or reproduction of copies, (ie for purposes other than those listed above), users must have prior written permission from the Royal Museums Greenwich Picture Library, and the third party copyright holder where applicable. 

Self service photography

Self service photography is free of charge. Two camera stands are available for use in the Caird Library and Archive, on a first come first served basis. 
Readers must adhere to the following terms of use:
  • photography is conducted under staff supervision in a designated area, using document support aids where appropriate
  • digital cameras and mobile phone cameras must be set to 'silent' and to 'still photography' mode
  • a self-service photography copyright declaration form is completed and signed. These are available from staff in the Library.
  • flash photography and taking photographs of images displayed on the Ship Plan Viewer are strictly prohibited

Digital imaging and photocopying by Reader under staff supervision

Readers can request to use the kiosk scanner to copy items from the Library and Archive collections. The photocopier is available to make copies of modern books and periodicals.
Approval is at the discretion of Library staff and subject to copyright and document preservation restrictions.

Printing from microfilm scanners by Reader under staff supervision

Readers may use microfilm reader scanners (Genus ScanPro2000) to take prints of material on microfilm. 
The microfilm reader scanners are located in the Reprographics area of the Caird Library and Archive, together with the microfilm reels. Instructions on how to use the microfilm reader scanner are available at point of use.