Copying Materials


Making Copies of Material

We encourage all researchers to use their own portable photographic devices such as phones, cameras and tablets in order to take images of collection material for reference.

When making copies, researchers should keep in mind copyright requirements and that there may be restrictions on copying some material. Where this is the case, staff will let you know.

You may need:

Photographic devices including phones/tablets are allowed (no flash).

USB storage device or valid email address if you don't have your own photographic device.

Not permissible:

No scanners allowed under any circumstances.

Digitisation requests:

Ask Reading Room staff about seeking approval. Keep in mind a fee will apply.

  • Missing a portable photographic device?

    Where a researcher doesn't have their own portable photographic device, staff at the Reading Room can supply an iPad for use. You will need to have a valid email address or USB storage device so that you can retrieve your images.

  • Copying Services

    Unfortunately the Reading Room does not provide a general copying service and staff are unable to make copies of material on your behalf. However, in some circumstances it is possible to obtain copies of material made via the University Digitisation Centre for a fee. See Digitisation Requests for more information.

    Copying of a whole thesis

    Researchers can request copies of University of Melbourne theses held in Special Collections for their own research or study purposes. Requests for copies of theses are processed and carried out by the University Digitisation Centre. Please note that maximum two theses may be ordered per person. If you require more than two theses at any one time, please contact to discuss.

    For more information on requesting a copy of a thesis, please see the theses page.

    Copies of University of Melbourne Subject Descriptions

    Researchers and alumni often wish to request copies of course and subject descriptions from their studies at the University of Melbourne. These are listed in the University of Melbourne Handbooks. Most handbooks are held in Special Collections, while handbooks for some years are available online. If you are unable to visit the Reading Room to view handbooks, or require certified copies, you can purchase copies of handbooks through Academic Records. You can place an online order for an Evidence of Qualification, and detail your requirements in the comment section.

  • Copyright Restrictions
    Copying, publishing and other use of all collection material is subject to copyright legislation. This applies to both published and unpublished material.

    It is important to abide by all copyright conditions and requirements in using published and unpublished material, as copyright owners can take legal action for any breach or infringement of copyright.

    For information on current copyright legislation, visit:

    University Copyright Office

    Australian Copyright Council

    Citing Material

    It is also important that you acknowledge any material that you use with full bibliographic citation.

    The Copyright Act provides authors/creators with ‘moral rights’ that include the right to have their work attributed. Failure to properly acknowledge any material that you use can result in legal action from the authors/creators.

    If you are unsure about how to correctly cite collection material, or have an enquiry regarding copyright restrictions, our staff are happy to provide assistance. For information on how to correctly cite University of Melbourne Archive material, visit the University of Melbourne Archives website.

  • Digitisation Requests
    You can request high resolution copies of collection material for publication or exhibtion.

    For all collections except Archives you may submit a request online through Aeon. Select the "Photodigitisation request" button on an existing request or when creating a new request through the relevant collection form. For University of Melbourne Archives please complete and return the Digitisation Request Form and Digitisation Item Form to For items identified in collection material in the Reading Room you will be required to flag the items as well as complete the forms, Reading Room staff will provide flags and forms. Once all required forms are completed and returned an archivist will begin processing your request.

    Please note, because much of the material held in the collections is old, fragile or highly valuable, copying can only be carried out under certain conditions. Some material may be restricted for access and copying by the creator, donor or for ethical reasons. A variety of factors are considered by collections staff before material is digitised - please note that requests are not processed automatically.If your request is not approved, a collection manager will contact you. If fees apply you will be advised on how to make payment after your request has been approved by the relevant Collection Manager. Depending on the volume of material to be digitised, high resolution copies can take from 10 to 20 working days once a request has been approved and payment received.

    Digitisation fees may apply.

Copying of Materials Viewed in the Reading Room

We have prepared a handy video guide to help you safely copy materials while in the Reading Room.

For more instructional videos, visit our video guides page.

Video Guides