Photocopying Policies, Fees and Payment Methods

General Information

Photocopying is a service that the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) provides its patrons. All orders are processed in order of receipt—usually within three to four weeks. All photocopy orders must be prepaid; we accept cash, check, or charge cards (Visa, MasterCard). You may pick up your completed order from RBML or have it mailed to you.

Orders may be submitted by patrons visiting manuscript material in RBML or remotely. If you wish to order copies remotely, please use the photocopy order form. Bound materials cannot usually be photocopied. Please note that the copyright statement must be signed; failure to sign the form will delay processing of your order.

Requests for a complete unit of material, such as en entire box of manuscript material or an entire bound volume, cannot be filled by photocopying, but may be possible through microfilming, if condition and copyright law allows.

The library reserves the right to limit the number of photocopies made, or to decline to make requested photocopies, due to the fragile nature of material, restrictions, or if we determine that copying material violates U.S. copyright law.  If you have further questions about photocopying procedures, please consult the reference desk staff.

Photocopying and Postage Fees

On-site users

  • Photocopying
    $0.25 per page
  • Domestic Postage
    $6.00 for the first 100 pages
    $5.00 for each additional increment of 100 pages, up to 500 pages
  • International Postage
    Calculated on an individual basis.

Remote users

  • Photocopying (includes Domestic Postage)
    $30.00 minimum charge for up to 50 pages
    $12.00 for each additional increment of 25 pages
  • International Postage
    Calculated on an individual basis.             

Payment Methods

The following methods may be used to pay for services:

  • Cash is accepted at the RBML reference desk only. Please do not send cash by mail.
  • Checks made payable to "Columbia University" drawn on a United States bank, in United States Dollars.
  • Credit card: MasterCard or Visa, only. Please provide the card number, the name as it appears on the card, the expiration date, and the security code (a three-digit code located on the signature line on the back of the card).  To ensure your security, the RBML will only accept credit card numbers in person or via telephone.  Do not email or fax your credit card information.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.