Making copies

Copies of most items in our collections can be made or supplied, within the limitations of the Copyright Act 1994 and our own copyright guidelines.

Use of personal digital cameras

You are welcome to use your digital camera to take personal research copies of most collection items.

If photographing an item would damage it or breach copyright or other copying restrictions, we will help you find another way to use the item in your research.


Copies can be made or supplied by the Library in these formats:

  • photocopies of most items
  • digital copies of most items
  • printouts and digital files from microfilm and microfiche
  • microfilm copies
  • computer printouts from databases in the National Library General Collections
  • sound and audio-visual recordings (except complete oral history recordings)
  • filming of items.

Some items can't be copied, even if they are no longer in copyright. These include full oral history interviews and items that are likely to be damaged if copying is attempted.


You may photocopy items in the National Library General Collections. Photocopiers are available for your use in the general reading room, and take pre-paid cards you get from the service desk.

Alexander Turnbull Library collections are the Library’s preservation copies, and you must ask staff to make copies for you using overhead copying equipment. You can get prints or digital copies of your items. Allow 10-15 working days for copies to be sent to you.

Copies from microfilm and microfiche

You can use microfiche and microfilm printers to make printouts from items in these formats when you visit us.

You can also make digital copies from items in these formats onto a USB flash drive at no charge.

Copies for publication purposes

Digital images may be downloaded directly from the website using a secure credit card payment process. Use the Order copy button on any eligible item page to start the process. Copies are supplied as JPEGs.

We charge $30 for high-resolution digital copies of most images, to recover the marginal costs of the work involved – staff time to retrieve, prepare, photograph, and check rights for the item.

We can also supply digital images in other formats, on CD-R, or as inkjet prints upon request. Payment is required when you make an order, so check the price list for details.

Allow 10-15 working days for copies to be sent to you, and large or complex orders may take longer.

If you have any questions about ordering images, use the Ask a librarian form on any page.

Order photocopies through your local library

You can order photocopies through your local library using the interloan service. Talk to your local librarian about getting items from our collections.

Microfilm purchase

You can purchase microfilm copies of published and manuscript items in the Turnbull Library collections. Check collection item records to see what has been microfilmed.

Sound and audio-visual recordings

We can make digital copies of sound recordings in the Alexander Turnbull Library collections, with the exception of Oral History materials, but you must provide written permission from the copyright holder(s). If a sound recording is no longer in copyright, permission will not be required. Copies cost $50.

Request copies by using the Send an enquiry button on the item's record page, or contact us through Ask a Librarian.

Prior permission is required to order audio excerpts from oral history interviews and other recordings held in the Oral History Centre for public use, including exhibitions, websites, broadcasts and lectures. To seek permission please contact us via Ask a Librarian.

Filming items

Film and television production crews should contact us in advance to make arrangements for supervised filming in the building. Hourly filming fees apply for filming of items in the Alexander Turnbull Library collections.