Building access is available to GW students, faculty, and staff who have completed all of the steps outlined on GW's Onward website. No one will be allowed to sign in without a physical GWorld card or enter the library if their GWorld card tap is denied. Library access is not available for alumni or visitors. Masks are required inside all library buildings.

Reproductions, Citations, and Copyright

Reproduction of Materials

On-site and remote users may request PDF scans or other digital reproductions of collection materials according to the fee structure listed below. To place a request for reproductions, please contact the Special Collections Research Center

General Guidelines for Reproduction Requests:

  • Special Collections will only provide digital, not paper-based, reproductions of books and archives. All requests are added to a queue and turnaround is typically 1-2 weeks depending on the complexity of the request and staffing levels.
  • Requests for reproductions (high-res and PDF) must be approved by Special Collections staff. Permission may be denied due to copyright restrictions or the condition of the materials.
  • SCRC staff will assist researchers with all aspects of placing a request for reproduction, including identifying items for scanning from within their original folder and box and the form(s) needed to ensure delivery of the digital files. 
  • The SCRC will provide an invoice for patron orders, fees are listed below. Once payment is received the files will be provided. 
  • Standard turnaround time is 1-2 weeks depending on the queue of requests and available staffing. 
  • The SCRC does not offer rush service. 
  • Reproductions will be delivered electronically via email or web server, without shipping costs.
  • On site researchers are permitted to take images of materials using digital, video, or film cameras, as long as no flash or other extra lighting is used. Special Collections reserves the right to regulate or prohibit researchers' photography in order to protect materials.
  • Researchers are prohibited from using all models of scanners, whether flatbed or personal/portable/handheld and additional lighting.  

Fee Schedule for Reproduction Services

Service Cost Limits
PDF photocopies First 20 pages free, then $0.25/page There is a 50 page limit for photocopy requests.
High resolution reproductions, simple (on flatbed up to 12" x 17") $5/scan Submit scan request and digitization team will review to ensure that material can be scanned on flatbed.
High resolution image reproductions, complex (on all equipment other than flatbed) $25/hour of staff time Submit scan request, and digitization team will deliver an estimate for confirmation before initiating work.
Audio-visual reformatting Vendor cost + 10% Submit scan request, and if the digitization team determines that the material cannot be reproduced in-house, we will obtain a quote from a vendor and deliver an estimate to you before initiating work.
Reproduction of material that must be sent to vendor Vendor cost + 10% Submit scan request, and if the digitization team determines that the material cannot be reproduced in-house, we will obtain a quote from a vendor and deliver an estimate to you before initiating work.

Reproduction of material via vendor

Special Collections is not able to digitize all formats, especially certain audio and video formats or oversized print material. For any requests where Special Collection's on-site equipment cannot handle materials, we may be able to send those materials to a vendor to digitize. Also, large requests or requests that cannot be filled in a reasonable period of time with available staff time may also be sent to vendors. See pricing above.

Video formats that cannot be handled on-site and which must be sent to vendors currently include (but are not limited to):

  • VHS
  • Audio cassette tapes
  • Open reel film

Audio and Video Reproduction

Audio cassette tapes, video tapes, CDs, DVDs, and other audio-visual formats must be digitally reproduced to facilitate research access. We do not permit researchers to listen or view any electronic media in its original form. Please contact us to inquire about digitizing A/V materials in the collections. Rates are listed above. When patrons fund reformatting of audio-visual material, their funding allows us to make that material freely and publicly available online to future researchers as well, wherever copyright and other legal restrictions allow.

Citing Manuscript Materials

Citations are imperative when reusing any collections materials. A well-crafted citation should lead your reader directly to the exact document or item cited. As such, the following elements ought to be included in your citations:

  • Document title/name (you will often have to impute this information if the document is not titled)
  • Author(s)/creator(s)
  • Document date, if available
  • Series, box, and folder number
  • Collection number and name
  • Repository name: Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Libraries
  • Location: Washington, DC. 

Example: Letter from James Oglethorpe to the Trustees, 13 January 1876, Series 1, Box 4, Folder 3. RG0001 Records of the Board of Trustees, Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Libraries, Washington, DC.