Information For Researchers

Personal Camera Use

To photograph materials yourself:
List each item you have photographed and submit the form to the Special Collections reference desk when research in the collection is complete.

The Congressional and Political Research Center, the Special Collections Department and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library permit researchers to photograph unrestricted materials using personal cameras under the following conditions:

  • Researchers will adhere to the restrictions that govern the research use of individual collections.
  • Only hand-held portable cameras will be allowed; staff may permit the use of a table-top tripod.
  • No outside lights (including flash) will be allowed in the reading rooms.
  • Researchers will not disturb other patrons, place themselves or others in jeopardy, or take any extraordinary measures, such standing on furniture, in an effort to get the “best” shot.
  • Researchers will abide by the handling procedures as outlined in the researcher registration agreement and will not place documents in peril or take extraordinary means to stabilize the document in order to get the “best” shot.
  • Researchers will fill out an Agreement for Use of Camera for all unrestricted materials they wish to photograph.
  • Camera use is permitted for private research use; images will not be used for publication purposes or added to the holdings of other libraries or archival repositories.
  • Researchers who require high-quality, digital images for publication or broadcast should contact the appropriate unit within Special Collections, the Congressional and Political Research Center, or the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library to make special arrangements.
  • Scanners and other imaging equipment will not be allowed in the reading rooms.
  • The MSU Libraries collections reserve the right to prohibit the photographing of any of its holdings at the staff’s discretion.

U.S. Copyright law governs the making and use of most photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted materials.  Most manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and moving images created in the past 120 years are protected under the copyright law.  Transmission, reproduction, publication, or presentation (public display, performance, Internet presentation) of protected items require the permission of the copyright owners.  For more information on copyright, contact the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright status and information on copyright holders can be difficult to determine for archival and manuscript collections.  The responsibility for obtaining permissions rests with the researcher.

Collections that include twentieth and twenty-first century materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Mississippi State University assumes no responsibility.