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Guidelines for using the Archives

These guidelines are designed to minimise the risk of damage to the archive collections so as to preserve them for future use.

No items of food or drink, including chewing gum, sweets and drinking water, may be consumed while using the material.
Pencils only may be used for note-taking. These can be borrowed from the Archivist.
The use of laptops is permitted.
Do not write on the documents, and do not lean or rest on top of documents while consulting them.
Avoid touching the text of the documents.
The number of items which can be consulted at one time is limited to ten. Readers are permitted to order all of the items required, but if the number exceeds ten, these items will be kept by the Archivist, from whom they will be made available in exchange for the consulted documents.
Researchers should ensure that they have clean hands when handling documents.
Researchers should seek advice on how to handle material if in any doubt.
Where material is known to be damaged, this will be noted when it is issued to the user. Documents will be checked on return for any signs of new damage.
Researchers are encouraged to participate in the care of the collections. Please inform the Archivist if you become aware of damage to the materials you are studying.
Please ensure that the documents are kept in the order in which they were found.
Copyright - Researchers wishing to publish material must seek permission from the copyright owner, please contact the Archivist in the first instance.
Data protection - Access to personal data on living persons for research purposes is only allowed on the explicit undertaking that the data are not processed to support measures or decisions with respect to particular individuals or in such a way that substantial damage or distress is, or is likely to be, caused to any data subject.
Digital camera usage

Readers who have ordered records held in the archives may make of copies of them using their own digital cameras providing that:

  • Document handling procedures as outlined in the 'Guidelines for using the Archives' are adhered to. All necessary reading room aids such as foam wedges and weights etc. are provided for reader's use.
  • Use of the device does not disturb other users, or the general quiet nature of the searchroom (i.e. devices must operate in 'silent' mode).
  • Use of the device does not pose a threat to the safety of the records, or other people.
  • Cameras, Camcorders and Digital Cameras must be in still photography mode.
  • Users do not move furniture, stand on tables and chairs or place documents on the floor.
  • No flash is used.
  • No photographs of the Archives Research Room, material not issued to the user, staff or other users are taken.
  • The use of tripod cameras may be permitted in special circumstances, with advance notice and at the discretion of the Archives staff.
  • Researchers must abide with current copyright law. It is the users’ responsibility to ensure that their copying is legal. Users must observe the following conditions to safeguard copyright:
  1. Copies of records under the School's copyright - you may make a single copy of up to 5% of a collection held by the archives, for the purposes of private research or study. Proper acknowledgement should be made of the source. This "fair dealing" exception does not extend to copying for the purposes of teaching, including presentations. If copying exceeds 5%, or is for any other purpose other than for private study or research, permission must be granted from the Archivist & Records Manager.
  2. The use of copies for publication, exhibition or commercial purposes requires permission from the Archivist & Records Manager.
  3. Copies of records not under the School's copyright - you may make a single copy of up to 5% of a collection held by the archives, for the purposes of private research or study. Proper acknowledgement should be made of the source. This "fair dealing" exception does not extend to copying for the purposes of teaching, including presentations. If copying exceeds 5%, or is for any other purpose other than for private study or research permission must be granted from the rights holder.
  4. Copying for publication, exhibition or commercial purposes is prohibited without prior permission from the rights holder. In such cases the individual should obtain permission directly from the rights holder (for which the rights holder may charge), rather than the Archivist & Records Manager.
  • Readers must fill in the relevant copyright form when they intend to use the material for commercial, exhibition or publication purposes.
  • There is no charge for this service.

Image quality

The LSHTM archives bears no responsibility for the quality of images taken by members of the public using this service and no printing facility is offered alongside it.

Photocopying & scanning procedures

The LSHTM Archives Service can provide either paper or digital copies of archive material to users who have visited the service in person and also for researchers who are unable to visit the service but have identified material on the on-line catalogue.

Due to the fragile nature of much of the School's archive material, items may only be photocopied or scanned by the Archives team. 

Scans or photocopies of particular pages may be ordered at 15p per A4 page and 30p per A3 page (1 page per photocopy) plus £2 to cover packing and postage within the UK (payable in advance), and sent to the requester. Where delivery to a non-UK address is required, requesters will be sent a pro-forma invoice. Please note that scanning or photocopying cannot usually be done on a while-you-wait basis.

Digital scans will be provided in pdf format for documents and jpg format for images, these will be emailed to the user.

Please allow 5 working days for the completion of your order, although large orders may take longer.

If an item has already been digitised, this will be sent to the researcher free of charge. A large number of images and some documents from the collections have been digitised and are held in the School’s digital asset management system, Assetbank. This is not available to the public, although temporary access can be arranged on request.

There are some items that cannot be scanned or photocopied, as this would cause damage to the material. Damage can be caused through excess handling of fragile items and, for example, handling of large bound volumes which may be placed under pressure in an effort to obtain a better image, leading to stress on the structure of the volume. This damage may not become apparent until much later. Ultra violet radiation and light levels can cause damage if an item is subjected to multiple or frequent copying.

There is a limit on the amount of material that can be copied to ensure that the Archives Service is operating in line with copyright, this is outlined in the Digital Camera procedures.

The decision as to whether or not material can be photocopied lies with the Archivist & Records Manager.

Alternative arrangements will be considered for the duplication of large material such as photographing the item by a professional photographer or using a hand held scanner.