Film cameras are not allowed in the Searchroom. Digital cameras and phone cameras are allowed, subject to the rules listed below, for a charge of £12 per day, or £6 after 5pm on Tuesday evenings.

Rules for digital camera use

  • You must be in possession of a valid reader’s ticket before applying for permission to photograph documents.
  • We may refuse permission for digital photographs to be taken if we believe it may damage the original document.
  • Digital photography must comply with copyright law. This means that items in copyright can only be photographed for non-commercial research and private study only. Ultimate responsibility rests with the photographer, but staff can advise on copyright issues, and will act to protect infringement if they believe it is occurring.
  • Permission to copy maps may be denied due to the size of the map (making it vulnerable to damage) or for copyright reasons, so it is best to talk to staff before staff before paying for permission.
  • A request and undertaking form must be completed and signed before making any copies. You must enter details of the camera that you intend to use.
  • Fees must be paid in advance.
  • You may not bring a stand or tripod into the Searchroom. We have stands which you can use, but you must attach the camera to the stand yourself, and we accept no responsibility for damage caused by doing so incorrectly.
  • Digital photography is allowed only at a fixed location close to the Searchroom desk. Cameras must not be taken into other areas of the Searchroom unless the user is accompanied by a member of staff.
  • You must tell a member of staff when you are about to photograph a document, and you must write the reference number and description of the document on the form before making the exposure. The number of images taken of each document must also be written on the form.
  • You may not photograph anything other than documents without specific permission. This includes general pictures of the Searchroom, or any other part of the interior of the building.
  • Staff are not allowed to help you operate your camera.
  • The ERO reserves the right to inspect your camera, and any additional memory devices, to see all the images taken before the camera and memory devices are taken out of the Searchroom.
  • The ERO reserves the right to require that images taken in the Searchroom which do not fall within the scope of the permission granted are deleted immediately.
  • Cameras are subject to inspection every time they are removed from the Searchroom. You can leave cameras in the Searchroom lockers provided for this purpose. The ERO accepts no responsibility for the security of cameras left in lockers.
  • The ERO staff are required to observe users to ensure that they are not damaging the documents that they copy, or copying prohibited items.
  • Copying must not subject the items being copied to handling or treatment that would not take place if they were merely being read.
  • The same restrictions apply to publishing digital photographs made by the public as apply to publishing copies made by the Record Office. Publishing includes placing images on a website.
  • The copying of printed books, photographs or works of art is not permitted, because of the restrictive conditions that apply under copyright law.
  • Except with the express permission of the ERO, users are not permitted to make copies for the use of anyone other than themselves. If it is permitted, the person for whom the copies are being made must sign the appropriate declaration.
  • Pressure must not be used to hold items flat, and weights, that would not be used if documents were merely being read, may not be used.
  • No on camera flash or additional lighting may be used. You should check that the ambient light in the search room is adequate for your camera. Test exposures of specimen documents without payment may be made to ascertain this.
  • Digital photographs of original items will not be allowed where microfiche, microfilm, digital or other copies already exist. At the discretion of the ERO, digital photographs may be made of entries in records that are illegible on microfiche or microfilm. However, only the entries in question can be photographed, not other parts of the document.