Photocopy Policy

Photocopying in Health Sciences Historical Collections (HSHC) is different from photocopying for materials in the circulating collections of the Libraries. Requests for permission to photocopy materials in the collections are considered by Special Collections Librarian on a case by case basis; no copies may be made without permission of the Special Collections Librarian.


Photocopying of materials in the HSHC is guided and governed by considerations that differ from those guiding the photocopying of materials in the circulating collections of the Health Sciences Library. In the case of the circulating collections the majority of books, periodicals, and microforms may be photocopied. The patron is responsible for making copies and for abiding by the restrictions imposed under copyright law. Although the library seeks to maintain the circulating collections in a good state of preservation, priority is implicitly given to the user.

The HSHC is the repository for rare and unique materials as well as subject-specific research collections. Photocopying of materials in HSHC is guided and governed by considerations of intrinsic value (uniqueness, rarity, value) and condition, with a view to continuing to make the resources in the collections available to readers and researchers, not only now, but in the future.


In each instance where photocopying is desired, you must receive permission from the Special Collections Librarian before an item from the collections can be copied. While many materials may be copied, certain items are too fragile to permit the handling required in the process of photocopying. Others may be too rare, under some sort of restriction, or may require handling by a staff member at the photocopier. In general, copies of entire books or manuscript collections are not permissible.

The use of portable photocopiers or hand held scanners to copy materials in the collections is not permitted.

Although the library possesses physical property rights to manuscript materials through ownership, some literary and artistic property rights may reside with the donor or creator of the material, or with that individual’s or group’s heirs or executors. HSHC does not grant exclusive publication rights, but must make its collections available for use and publication subject to any restrictions which may apply to given items or collections.

The deposit of copies (xerox/photographic) in another repository is prohibited, unless expressly consented to in writing by the Special Collections Librarian.

Reproduction (photocopy, photography, or other) of published material without the permission of the copyright holder is restricted by federal law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) and the doctrine of educational fair use (Section 107 of H.R. 2223) to excerpts (not the entirety) of books, articles, essays, etc., and to scholarly, noncommercial use only. Library staff will not knowingly violate copyright law or the “fair use” doctrine, or knowingly give permission for the user to do so. Libraries and archives are authorized under this law to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction on condition that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes or requests a reproduction, or later uses it, for purposes in excess of “fair use”, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

In all cases, permission to copy is at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian. Permission may be denied if injury to the item or items would result; if the rarity, uniqueness, or costliness of the item mitigates against copying; or if violation of copyright law and/or “fair use” may result.


When citing the Library as the institution holding a source employed in research and publication, this is the standard form suggested:

[Identification of item], [item number], [Collection Name]. Health Sciences Historical Collections, the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library.

Last modified: November 25, 2013