Where Copyright and other considerations permit, the National Library sells photographic reproductions, as digital files or digitally-derived prints, of items in its collections.

If you plan to reproduce images supplied by the National Library in publications, you will find useful information on this page on:


Our responsibilities

We will provide you with

  • Advice on how to use the catalogue and other searching tools
  • Information on copyright contacts, where known
  • An image that adheres to the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture and that is an accurate representation of the collection item, including any signs of age or damage
  • Caption information with each image or a reference to caption information in the Library’s catalogue
  • Colour images of items that are nominally black and white but have some colour in them, such as black and white photographs that have aged to a yellowish tone

We will also

  • Include an ICC colour profile (which functions as a colour bar) in each colour image that conforms to the Library’s Standards for Digital Images
  • Meet our advertised turnaround time for Priority Orders.


If we fail to meet our quality responsibilities we will refund the cost of your order, provided you return the affected image. Alternatively we will re-digitise the item for you, subject to the limitations described below. If we fail to meet our advertised turnaround time for Priority Orders, we will reduce the charge for the order to the non-priority rate.

Your responsibilities

You will need to

  • Check that the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture will be sufficient for your purposes; if you need higher standards you may request custom photography.
  • Ensure, if the colour fidelity of digital images is important to you, that your computers and printers conform to ICC requirements; advice on ICC requirements is available on this web site.
  • Convert digital files to CMYK if you require CMYK format
  • Check that the size of the original item will support any enlargement you plan to make; you can find the dimensions of the original item in the catalogue record or by contacting the Copies Direct service or the relevant special collection area
  • View the original collection item, if the aesthetics of the reproduction are important for your purposes, so that signs of age, damage or unusual colouring in the collection item will not come as a surprise in the reproduction you have ordered
  • Factor the Library’s advertised delivery times into your plans
  • Request the Library’s permission to publish, for any item that you intend to reproduce, by completing a Copies Direct order or the Intention to Publish form
  • Adhere to copyright requirements in your uses of photographic reproductions supplied by the Library, and provide the Library with a copy of the copyright owner’s permission where required.

Quality of digital reproductions of items from the Pictures Collection

The Library will ensure that all reproductions of Pictures Collection items digitised since July 2001 will conform to the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture.

The quality of reproductions of items in the Pictures Collection prior to July 2001, however, varies; most of these were made by scanning transparencies in Kodak Pro PhotoCD format.

There is no simple way, when you are viewing an image in the Catalogue, for you to know whether its digital master image was captured according to the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture or according to the older, less rigorous, standards. Staff in the Pictures Branch will, however, advise you on request which standards apply to any particular image.

Quality of digital reproductions of items from other collections

You can expect any photograph you order of items listed below to conform to the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture.

  • Sheet music
  • Maps
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Journals
  • Items of ephemera
  • Items in the Manuscript Collection.

Circumstances in which we will re-digitise collection items for you

If we supply you with a digital reproduction that does not conform to the Library’s Standards for Digital Capture, and you bring this to our attention, we will re-digitise, where possible, the item for you at no extra charge.

Circumstances in which we are unable to re-digitise collection items for you

There are rare cases where re-digitisation is not possible, for instance because the collection item is particularly fragile, is on loan to another institution, or where the source item is not held by the Library. In such cases we will refund the cost of your order.

Photography using your own equipment

You may bring your own equipment into the Library, by arrangement, to photograph collection items, subject to certain conditions.