Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Fees, Charges and Reproduction > Copying and Conservation Policy

Policy on copying

Charging and Copying Policy


How our charges are set

  • Our charges are set annually by Bedford Borough Council as part of the setting of fees and charges across all borough services.
  • The Borough Council fees and charges change on the 1st January each year.
  • Our charges are intended to offer value for money, while taking into account staff time and expertise and overheads.
  • Many of the documents in our care are fragile or of non-standard format and require considerable care during copying. Our charges are weighted with this in mind.
  • The income raised is important to us and does make a real contribution to funding the service.
  • Our charges include VAT.

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 and may not be available on demand.
  • Copies will always be made from microfilms, copy photographs and scans 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 but photography may be possible. The Archives Service has black and white photographic negatives  and copy prints of many maps 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 watercolours are harmed by exposure to heat and light. Consequently, these items will not be photocopied, but alternative copying methods will be offered where possible.