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Why Photograph ?

  Most record offices and other archive repositories do not permit photocopying of:
  • fragile documents
  • parchment
  • bound volumes
  • papers larger than A3 size
  • large and/or folded deeds
  However 5 out of 6 record offices will allow you to take photographs of such documents, often at no charge. Many record offices also provide a professional photographing service, although this can prove costly.
  What Type of Camera is Best Suited ?
  Without question a digital camera that can take pictures indoors without flashing. Many record offices do not allow use of electronic flash. Since a significant number of record offices also ban the use of tripods or charge extra for their use it is worth seeking out a digital camera that can readily be held in a steady position (i.e. have a facility such as Sony's 'super steady shot' which compensates for hand shake).
  Record Office Rules on Photographing their Documents
  These vary considerably from record office to record office. A significant minority (roughly 1 in 6) do not permit DIY photography at all. As already stated, many do not allow use of electronic flash and several do not permit the use of tripods. Many only allow DIY photography at the discretion of senior staff. Several require prior booking. A few only allow DIY photographing of documents on days when the record office is normally closed to the public. There is an equally wide variation in charges. Two in three record offices impose no charge at all. Others charge per photograph taken (varying from 50p to £2 per click), per session (£2 to £20), or for the hire of a room to take the photographs in (£20 to £25 per hour).
This page last updated: 29 December 2017