The Center is willing to consider digitization requests for materials in our holdings to serve the research needs of organizations and individuals. We recognize that for researchers, having copies of materials greatly aids in the research and writing process. We will do all we can, within the parameters outlined below, to facilitate research. The Center does, however, take seriously our stewardship and legal responsibility for our materials, to producers and publishers, and to our donors to carefully manage what is in our collection whether purchased or donated.
It must be understood that the Center is not a digitization service, meaning we are not here solely to serve the digitization needs of any and all who request such a service. Rather, we provide patron service and within that service we may accept requests for digitization of certain materials. Within the scope of our service we will try to accommodate to broader requests when possible. Our staff have a full range of responsibilities already which keep them fully engaged. Requestors must understand we may be unable to service their requests immediately due to the press of other responsibilities and other requests that may be ahead of their request. Additionally, the Center has its own priorities for digitizing its resources to benefit the larger community. To accept a new request from outside of the Center may restrict our ability to meet our overriding priorities.
Our acceptance of requests for digitization of our materials received from outside of the Center will be governed by the following considerations.
- Requests are first evaluated against our overall five-year digitization plan. If the requested material is in this plan, we will likely accept the digitization request. If the requested material is not in this plan, we will likely not accept the digitization request. We have too much that needs to be done for the greater good to divert our focus to meet the need, no matter how legitimate, of a single requestor. Even if we accept the digitization request, the completion timeline may be extended due to staffing and previous work already in the queue.
- The request must conform to applicable United States copyright laws. Most requests are assumed to be covered by the “Fair Use” provision of the copyright law, meaning the digital data will not be used, posted, or reproduced beyond the initial personal use. Even with this assumption we will still follow certain limitations as outlined in this document.
- The condition of the material requested may also impact whether we can accept the request. In most cases, we are anxious to digitize fragile material to help preserve the content. If we accept the digitization request, the work may take considerably longer and carry a higher cost.
- We must have staff who are available to perform the requested digitization without a significant interference with the established digitization priorities of the Center.
Note: Many aspects of this policy also apply to requests for paper photocopies. Since most requests are for digital copies the term “photocopies” are not included in the wording of this policy though it applies to them as well.
Responsibility for communication with requestors will reside with the Administrative Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests for digitization are typically made online at the designated location on the Center’s website. There is an online form to be completed which serves as the order and tracking mechanism within the Center, and ultimately it will be combined with the payment function.
In brief, the online request sets in motion a sequence of events where the request is initially evaluated by the Center’s Administrative Assistant, and as needed, the Digitization Unit supervisor, and appropriate communication and action is taken. The requestor will be notified by the Administrative Assistant regarding whether we will accept the request. If accepted, we will communicate the cost and the probable time involved. When the work is completed we will communicate the final cost. After completion of the payment transaction the materials will be released to the requestor.