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NLM Reading Room Policy on Photography Requests

Main Reading Room

Visitors and patrons of the Main Reading Room may take a few pictures of the interior of the room as long as they:

  • Do not disturb other patrons or staff.
  • Use a hand-held camera.
  • Use only available light.

Members of the media or others who wish to film or take photographs of the Main Reading Room for a commercial purpose must obtain the permission of NLM’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison.

In order to prevent damage to collection materials, personal digital photographic equipment may be used to photograph collection materials in the Main Reading Room only under the following conditions:

  • Patrons must request permission and show the equipment they intend to use to either Reference Desk or Circulation Desk staff before photos can be taken.
  • Pictures may be taken using available light only. The use of flash equipment or portable lighting units is not permitted. Tripods and other camera support devices may be used as long as they do not inconvenience other patrons and staff.
  • At no time can the photographic equipment come into direct contact with library materials. The use of scanners is not permitted.
  • If Reading Room staff determine that photography is disruptive or harmful to the collection materials, the patron will be asked to stop.
  • Patrons will be allowed to photograph damaged materials in the Collection Access Section, Rm. B1 E23, as these materials do not circulate to the Main Reading Room. All the same restrictions mentioned above will apply.
  • Permission to digitally photograph library material does not imply permission to publish or further reproduce the images. Responsibility for determination of copyright lies with the patron.

History of Medicine (HMD) Materials

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