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Burns Library Services

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Copies & Permissions

Reference & Instruction Services at Burns Library

Copy Services

For the convenience of our researchers and to facilitate their use of our collections, Burns Library supports both self-service photography and staff-filled copy requests.

Self-service Photography

  • Subject to copyright or any other legal restrictions and policies set forth here, researchers are welcome to use smartphones and other personal, hand-held digital cameras to photograph collection materials in the reading room for personal use; all devices should be placed in silent mode.
  • Flash photography, tripods, special lighting, extra equipment, and scanners are not permitted.
  • Burns Library reserves the right to limit or refuse self-service photography for certain materials due to various considerations, including but not limited to concerns regarding safe handling of materials or donor or legal restrictions.

Staff-filled Copy Requests

  • Burns Library provides limited copy services for research or publication purposes free of charge; each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may not be filled due to various considerations.
  • Staff will attempt to accommodate requests for high-resolution images for publication, but may not be able to meet all specifications or deadlines.
  • Burns Library complies with laws regarding copyright and fair use when providing copies of materials. As a general matter,
    • staff will not furnish copies of entire published works currently under copyright;
    • staff will not fulfill requests for entire or significant portions of archival collections;
    • staff will not copy the entirety of an unpublished manuscript or proof.
  • Researchers are limited to 100 pages or images per academic year, and no more than 100 scans from any single archival collection over time.
  • Accurate citations are required to fill copy requests.
  • Requests for copies are normally completed within five business days; larger requests may require additional time.

Researcher Responsibilities for Reproductions and Permissions

  • Researchers will be expected to follow Burns Library citation guidelines.
  • Unless otherwise specified, Burns Library makes no representation that it is the copyright holder or owns any intellectual property interests in materials it holds.
  • Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials they use and complying with copyright and any other laws, including without limitation, for obtaining any permissions that may be required for quoting, copying, recording, photographing, filming, reproducing, publishing, performing, displaying, or distributing the materials.
  • Reproductions must not be transferred to or deposited with another institution.
  • By creating Burns Library accounts and using Burns Library services, researchers agree to indemnify and hold harmless Boston College, its agents and employees against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of photocopies or reproductions of Burns Library materials.
  • In assuming full responsibility for their use of the materials, researchers also understand that materials they examine may contain Social Security numbers, other personal identifiers, or sensitive material on potentially living and identifiable individuals (e.g., medical, evaluative, or personally invasive information). Researchers agree not to record, reproduce, or disclose any Social Security number or other information of a highly personal nature that may be found. Researchers should inform library staff when they encounter this type of information

Additional Copyright Restrictions

  • 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 specified 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.
  • Burns Library reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to refuse a copy request for any time for any reason, including without limitation if it has concerns the request may be a violation of copyright law.

Requesting Copies

Burns Library has an online request management system. As you identify what you would like to see from our library catalog, click the "Request scans from Burns Library" link.

When prompted to sign-in, either use the Boston College sign-in box to register as a researcher using your BC username password or use the Guest Researcher box to create an account without a BC username.

Once you've reviewed our registration policies and filled out the registration form, you'll return to the Copy Request form

To complete the form:

  • For published material: Review item information and add details on the specific volume or copy (if needed)
  • For archival material: Review collection information and enter the box number and folder number. Refer to the finding aid in order to identify the box (found at the end of the catalog record under Links)
  • Enter a brief description of your request under "Describe Copy Request".
  • Choose the file format.
  • Leave more details or any notes on your request in the Special Requests/Questions field (optional)
  • Press "Accept Terms and Submit Request"

When the request is completed, you'll receive an email prompting you to log into your Burns Library Account and download the scans.

Permission to use Burns Library materials

John J. Burns Library will only supply permission letters for collection items when the Trustees of Boston College are the copyright holder and Burns Library has been authorized to act on their behalf. In most cases, John J. Burns Library is not the copyright holder of its collections. The original authors or their heirs may retain copyright to the materials.

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of materials, determining fair use, and/or obtaining any permissions that may be required for quoting, copying, recording, photographing, filming, reproducing, publishing, performing, displaying, or distributing the materials. The researcher assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

By creating Burns Library accounts and using Burns Library services, researchers agree to indemnify and hold harmless Boston College, its agents and employees against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of photocopies or reproductions of Burns Library materials.

Burns Library staff are unable to provide in depth guidance on copyright/permissions. If researchers want to seek permission to use materials currently under copyright, it is their responsibility to identify, locate, and contact the copyright holder. The following resources may be of some assistance:

Permission to use the Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archive

Copyright and intellectual property rights have been transferred to the Trustees of Boston College for this collection. The Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please review this licensing and conduct your own risk assessment.

To request publication permission based on these terms and conditions, you must complete and submit the online permission form. Requests are addressed in the order in which they are received, and take up to a month to be processed.

Citations will be provided in the written response, but the format should be as follows:

  • Item description, Image bh######, Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives (MS2001-039), John J. Burns Library, Boston College.