Copying services

All you need to know about making copies of Oxfordshire History Centre material.

About self-service copying

You may wish to obtain a copy of material that we hold. Self-service copying is available to personal visitors, and we can take orders from remote enquirers.

However, many of our holdings are extremely fragile, and could easily be damaged or destroyed by the copying process. Copyright law may also limit the amount which can be copied. See copying guidelines for further information.

Please check our charges page for full details of current charges for all types of copying.

Self-service photography and use of memory sticks

Self-service photocopier

  • For personal visitors to the Oxfordshire History Centre, there is a photocopier in the Searchroom, which can be used to copy Local Studies printed material only.
  • No original documents or fragile printed volumes may be placed on it.
  • The copier operates by a card system; you must take the material you wish to copy to the enquiry desk where you will be given a card for the number of copies you are requesting. No open-ended cards can be issued.

Computer and microform printers

Our public computers showing online resources and the microfilm/fiche reader-printers can print out the information shown on screen. Printouts are charged per sheet.

You can use our microform scanner to download this information on to a USB memory stick. Visitors need to purchase a permit before downloading.

Staff-operated copying

How to order scans and copies

We can provide copies for remote enquirers from material in the care of Oxfordshire History Centre. Copying guidelines or copyright law may restrict what can be scanned, photocopied, or photographed.

How to request copies

  • Please contact us with details of which books, documents, images or other sources you would like us to copy.
  • We will reply with details of the costs involved and an order form for you to complete and return with your payment.  Forms include a copyright declaration which must be signed by all applicants.
  • Check our charges page for full details of copying costs.


  • Official certificates are available for baptism and marriage entries, made out by staff. These are officially recognised by the church authorities for administrative purposes. Certified copies can also be provided from motor tax registration records.
  • Please contact us to request copies of certificates.

Digital photographs and electronic files

  • We can supply digital photographs from many of the materials in our care; these can be provided as paper prints or as electronic files.  See our charges page for the options available.
  • Please note that remote or online orders are handled by House of Images; Oxfordshire County Council rates are applicable only to personal visitors to Oxfordshire History Centre.
  • Check our copying guidelines for restrictions applying to electronic files.
  • Please contact us to request copies as a digital print or an electronic file.

Copying guidelines

This information is also available to download as a pdf document (pdf format, 44Kb)

Provision of photocopies

  • Some items are unsuitable for photocopying due to the material they are made from, their format or condition; we may offer digital prints or electronic files as an alternative.
  • No photocopies may be made from any document made from parchment or vellum.
  • Photocopies may not be made of any document bearing a wax, shellac, or metallic seal. Documents bearing applied or embossed seals may be copied subject to the other restrictions stated, or at the discretion of the archivist on duty or the conservator.
  • No copies may be made from any document larger than the size of the copier platen (A3) unless the document is in such condition as to allow this to be carried out without damage.
  • No copies may be made from any archival volume. Copying of non-archival volumes is at the discretion of an archivist or the conservator.
  • No copies may be made of any document with watercolours or other pigments, dyes or inks which are liable to fade or flake or of any document with gilding anywhere other than the edge.
  • Filed documents (that is, those tied at the corner with cord or any other material) may not be photocopied without first being removed from a file. A charge may be made for this service.
  • No photocopies may be made from any original photographs.

Provision of electronic files (images or text)

  • Electronic files can be supplied from most archival documents or published printed material.
  • Electronic files (high-resolution JPEG) can be supplied of Tithe Maps. These are charged per image, and some parish tithe maps include multiple images.
  • Electronic files can be supplied from most microfilm and fiche based sources.
  • Electronic files can be supplied from Ordnance Survey digital mapping, and from online sources such as Ancestry Library and Find My Past, but any such extracts are only provided for private genealogical or historical research.
  • Electronic files can be supplied from our Picture Oxon collections, at resolutions of 700, 2250 or 4000 pixels. (Online orders are handled by House of Images).
  • Electronic files of sound recordings from our Oral History collection can be supplied (compressed MP3 format); these are charged per group of 1 – 5 files.
  • Most CD-ROM based material is supplied to Oxfordshire History Centre under contract, which may exclude the extraction of data or saving to electronic files.
  • Oxfordshire Family History Society – extraction of data from OFHS databases, or saving to digital files, is forbidden for contractual reasons.
  • Storage and re-use: you may only record or store electronic files supplied by us on your own computer, disc or other digital storage. You may not transfer or distribute them to third parties. You may not publish, display or broadcast them (including transmission via a network or the Internet) without permission or licence from Oxfordshire County Council or the copyright owner.

Permission to reproduce images

If you wish to further reproduce images or files supplied by Oxfordshire History Centre you must obtain our permission first. See charges.


General copyright guidelines

Oxfordshire History Centre staff cannot give legal advice but may be able to clarify the duration of copyright in a particular case.

The Intellectual Property Office provides a basic overview of the principles of copyright and has also issued guides to how copyright affects research in libraries and archives:
• Exceptions to copyright: Libraries, archives and museums (2014) – – (Pdf format, 286Kb)
• Exceptions to copyright: Research (2014) –  (Pdf format, 288Kb)


  • Most of the material held in Oxfordshire History Centre is covered by copyright legislation, and in most cases that copyright is not held by us – it may not even be held by the person who deposited the material.
  • We cannot, therefore, give permission to make copies for anything other than private research (which can only be a small proportion of any work or document) and particularly not for publication.
  • If you wish to publish, it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner, which will often mean investigating who the copyright owner is.
  • We can only supply multiple copies or substantial extracts of material which is out of copyright, or which is Oxfordshire County Council copyright.