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New charges for digital photography

The last decade has seen a big rise in the number of visitors using cameras, scanners and mobile ‘phones to take pictures of documents and photographs at BLARS. We initially resisted the pressure to charge a facility fee, encouraging visitors to make donations instead.

However, we have suffered a serious fall in income from photocopying fees coinciding with this growth in photography (3,000 documents at BLARS were filmed in this way during the period January to September 2010 alone) and we need to maintain income in an effort to mitigate likely cuts in the Service over the next few years. The amount of staff time taken in monitoring the use of cameras and adherence to copyright law is also significant.

Therefore we are proposing to introduce charges (after due consultation) from Tuesday 4 January 2011. The charge (per camera or scanner &c) would be 50p per item filmed (so you can take as many images as you like from one item for the same fee) up to a maximum of 20 items (£10). The daily charge would be capped at £10, so you can take as many images as you like for that fee. Comments on the proposals are invited and should be submitted by 30 November 2010.