Skip to Main Content

Special Collections: Copying Items

Special Collections is home to manuscripts, older printed books and unique & distinct collections.

Copying Special Collections' Items

In General

UCC Library may or may not be the copyright holder for items in Special Collections. Published items are in copyright, depending on the format of item, for the duration of the author's lifetime plus a set amount of years. For example published books are in copyright for the duration of the author's lifetime plus 70 years. Separately, a publisher owns the copyright in the typography of editions of a work for a period of 25 years from the year of publication.

No item in Special Collections is available under a Creative Commons license. Items held in Special Collections may be out of copyright, © copyright University College Cork Library or copyright may need to be granted by the copyright holder. 


UCC Library does not hold copyright for any thesis. Therefore theses cannot be copied by any means. The only way to copy a thesis is with written permission from the author. Special Collections will only accept written permission from the author stating that the requestor is able to copy a thesis. The written permission must also state what is the permitted method for copying.

What is Reprographics?

We use the term 'reprographics' to describe the process of copying, reprinting, or reproducing material. This includes scans, digital images or printouts.

Reprographics may occur depending on the size, format and condition of the material. Reprographics may not be permitted if an item is too fragile or if UCC Library is not the copyright holder. Please seek permission from staff first before using any device to copy. 

Please read the notice displayed near the book scanner in the Rare Books Reading Room. You can also read the Copyright & Related Rights Act 2000 for further details.

Irish Copyright Law allows users to copy material under 'fair use.' There are certain restrictions:

  • only a reasonable portion can be copied
  • material must be for private study
  • sufficient acknowledgement must be given

Users can bring their own cameras (no flash photography is permitted) to take images of material at no cost. Use of mobile phone and tablet cameras is permitted. The appropriate reprographics form must be completed for each item copied. Staff can explain this process on the day of your visit. Consent from UCC Library is required for any other use, including publication (printed or online).

Reprographic Forms

If images are taken by the user for private study/own use, the a form may need to be completed depending on the nature of the source material:

  • If the item is published then one chapter or 10% of any book, whichever is the greater can be copied without completing a form.  
  • If the item is unpublished, then complete the form Unpublished Material for Research/Private Study 

If images taken by the user for publication, then a reprographics application form needs to be completed for each item copied. Complete the form:

  • Reproduction for Publication

In addition if reprographics are required for publication then permission to use the material must be sought from the Special Collections Librarian.

The forms are also available from the Special Collections Information Desk and must be returned there upon completion. 


All users: There is no charge to use the book scanner.

UCC Staff: Should staff require Special Collections staff to scan material then charges will apply for the service. This administrative fee is to be based on units of time. One unit = up to 15 minutes. As it is a service VAT will be also added.

For remote users of Special Collections:

  • Contact us with your reprographics request. We will forward you a quote dependent on method of reprographics.
  • Photocopying is only available to remote users. 
  • Scanned images will be forwarded either by email or via HEAnet Filesender.

What is a Publication?

The following can be considered a publication:

  • Published research
  • Lecture and PowerPoints
  • Websites & digital resources
  • Film, video or broadcast
  • Conference Paper
  • Public display or exhibition
  • Merchandise
  • A blog post or any other type of social media post.


Citation Style

The preferred citation style is: Special Collections, UCC Library, University College Cork.

Manuscript example citation format: Lss. Number. Title of excerpt. Title of manuscript if present. Special Collections, UCC Library, University College Cork.


Citation format for the above image: Ls. 90. Beatha Finnchua. Special Collections, UCC Library, University College Cork.