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Policy on copying

Charging and Copying Policy

3.1 How our charges are set

  • Our charges are approved annually following consultation with staff and the Service User Panel; a panel of regular users.
  • Our charges are intended to offer value for money, while  taking into account staff time in production and copying of  documents.
  • Many of the documents in our care are fragile or of non-standard format (see 3.2) and require considerable care  during copying. Our charges are weighted with this in  mind.
  • The income raised (annually circa £30,000, all sources) is  important to us. It is used to supplement our small  supplies and services budgets, particularly in the  development of Information Technology and does make a  real contribution to funding the service.
  • Our charges include VAT and an allowance for waste copies.

3.2 Copying & Conservation Policy

The Archives Service has an over-riding responsibility to ensure the safe preservation of the records. At times this may conflict with the needs of users who want copies. We must emphasise that:

  • If an item is likely to be damaged by any copying process,  then permission to copy may be refused.
  • Staff may insist on the use of a specific (and possibly more expensive) method of copying in order to minimise the risk  of damage to a particular document. Alternative copying  methods may take longer than ordinary photocopying.
  • Copies will always be made from microfilms, copy photographs and photocopies where such surrogate copies exist. In this way, copies can be made without risk of damage to the originals.

Where requests are made for copies of original documents, the following guidelines will be followed:

  • Single-sheet items of paper or parchment will generally be copied provided they fit comfortably on the platen of the photocopier or camera copying stand.
  • Single-sheet items – larger than the platen size of the copier  – will only be copied if they are felt by staff to be robust  enough and can be adequately supported to allow the  process to be carried out without risking any damage.
  • Heavily folded parchment documents and items consisting of several membranes sewn together are liable to damage as the binding may be stressed and the ink may flake off. These will only be copied if staff are satisfied that they are not put at risk by copying.
  • Large maps will not normally be photocopied, either by staff  or visitors (see 2.2) but photography may be possible (see  3.4). The  Archives Service has photographic negatives  and copy prints of many maps (identified by a blue  asterisk in the  map index) and so alternative means of  providing copies  are often available.
  • Bound volumes may be copied if they can be put  comfortably on the platen or copying stand without stress to  the binding. Consideration will also be given to the style of  the binding (tight-backed volumes will not normally be  copied), the condition of the board attachment, sewing,  paper and covering materials
  • Documents carrying pendant seals will only be copied if the  seal can be sufficiently supported. Items with applied  paper seals or embossed seals may be copied  provided the seals  are intact and are handled with  caution.
  • Documents in tied bundles or with guard and file bindings will be undone by staff before copying and re-assembled afterwards.
  • Original photographs and pictures such as water-colours are harmed by exposure to heat and light. Consequently, these items will not be photocopied, but alternatives will be offered where possible.