What can I photocopy or scan?

Many Bodleian Libraries items are available for self-service copying, but there are restrictions.

Not all books are available for copying. Even where it is permitted, copying must be done in ways that minimise stress to the books and we have legal and moral obligations to ensure that readers and staff observe copyright law.

Readers must make sure they do not copy more than is permitted. For more information about copyright and fair use, visit our copyright guide.

Self-service copying

In general, you can scan and make copies from items which meet these criteria:

  • published later than 1901
  • printed pages
  • up to A4 size (21 × 29.7 cm), up to 7.5 cm thick, and up to 3kg; and
  • binding in good condition and opens without strain.

You may not copy any of the following yourself:

  • theses
  • mounted items or pamphlets of different size bound together
  • items with foldout pages
  • items with hand-coloured pages
  • items which must be pushed against the machine to obtain a good copy
  • items which contain a repair ticket
  • items stored in a protective grey box

Please note other restrictions may apply in some libraries.

If you are in a reading room, take the item you wish to copy to the staff desk together with your University or Bodleian Reader card. Staff will check that the book meets the requirements for self-service copying. If it does not, you may be able to request copies through our staffed copying service.


You may make prints from published microfilms or microfiches using the microfilm/fiche reader/printers in the libraries. A4 or A3 prints cost 25p per print.

You can also order copies from microfilms or microfiches through Imaging Services.

Special collections material

If you would like to obtain copies of pre-1800, fragile or manuscript material, there are several options.

If you are a member of the University, you can access full-text, searchable reproductions of many works printed before 1800 via Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

Alternatively, many items are available as published facsimiles, microfilms or microfiches, from which you can make copies. These can usually be located on SOLO.

If you need copies from an item that is not available through either of these methods, you may be able to request images through our special collections copying service or Imaging Services.

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