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Franke Reading Room: Photoduplication

Access and Services for Research Center Collections

Photoduplication Policies

A variety of photoduplication options are available to researchers in the reading room. All photoduplication of library and archival materials is governed by the following policies:

  • Works of art, text, and other content appearing in these reproductions may be protected by copyright or related interests that are not owned by the museum. It is your responsibility to obtain whatever copyright or other permissions may be required from an artist, the artist’s agent or estate, or any other third party rights holder. By accepting or using these reproductions, you agree to indemnify the museum and hold it harmless against any and all claims, demands, and/or actions of any nature, including the expenses thereof, arising as a result of your use of the reproductions.

  • Permission to examine material does not automatically include the right to duplicate it. The Art Institute may decline a photoduplication request because the materials are oversize or too fragile, or because the extent of the request falls outside the fair use standard or beyond current staff capacity.

  • Prepayment for photographic services is required for all orders.

  • Researchers are not permitted to use digital scanners or professional photography equipment.

  • Researchers who would like to take study photographs of materials in the archival collections must consult with the reference desk staff and complete the Permission to Photograph Archival Collections form (available at the reference desk). Restricted and unprocessed materials may not be photographed for any reason without the explicit permission of the archives staff.

Policies: Photocopies and Scans

Photocopies and Scans


When the reading room is open, patrons may scan general collection library materials to email or USB drive or may print copies. All materials must be approved by a reference librarian before using the scanner as some items are deemed too fragile, large, or valuable to be copied on our scanning equipment. Orders for digital files of library materials will be accepted by library staff only, and may be placed by contacting us.

Artist files and special collections items may not be scanned on the reading room equipment.

Scans of specific content in library materials may be requested through our Interlibrary Loan service:

  • Please contact your local librarian to place an interlibrary loan request on your behalf. 
  • Our interlibrary loan policies are available through the OCLC policies directory.
  • Librarians seeking loans from our collection may email us with questions about interlibrary loan. Although we prefer to receive interlibrary loan requests through OCLC, we also accept requests from international and other non-OCLC libraries through email.


Archival materials may be scanned by archives staff only. Orders for new and existing images from the Archives, including from our Images and Media database, can be submitted in person at the Franke Reading Room during public hours, or via this form.

Patrons may request high-resolution 300dpi TIF files or study-quality PDF scans.


Photography of Art Institute of Chicago art collection materials must be requested through our Image Licensing site.


  • Photography orders take up to 12 weeks to complete (from the time payment is received).
  • Long-distance requests are accepted, but additional fees apply.
  • Photography fees:
    • Archival materials: fees vary by guaranteed delivery time; see here for more information.
    • All other materials: $15 per image
  • Other fees may apply.

Policies: Photography


Reading room visitors are welcome to photograph materials themselves for research purposes. Cameras without a flash may be used to photograph books and journals from the library collections. Photographing archival materials requires special permission. The use of professional photography equipment and personal scanners is not permitted in the reading room. Find additional information regarding reading room policies.

Contact Us

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

For information on the museum collections, library collections, and library services, please contact Library staff at


The Art Institute of Chicago Archives

For information on our collections, the history of the Art Institute and the School of the Art Institute, donation proposals, corrections, comments, and general questions, please contact Archives staff via our Contact and Application for Access form.