Copying Services


Library staff will provide photocopies on plain paper of selected items in the California History Room's collections, for a fee and on a time-delayed basis. Items that may be copied only by staff include photographs, manuscripts, postcards, vertical file materials, and textual file materials. The size of original materials may not exceed 12 x 17 inches. Our photocopying limit is 20 copies per patron per week. More than 20 pages of material will not be copied from the same volume or collection.

As an alternative to photocopies, library staff can provide low-resolution scans of manuscript materials, vertical file and textual file materials, and maps. The result is a PDF file. The same size and page limits apply. Color scans can be provided if the item warrants it. We do not provide low-resolution scans of photographs or postcards.

The State Library reserves the right to refuse to copy materials that may be damaged by the process and to prohibit the copying of certain fragile items. Microfilming in lieu of photocopying may be considered for fragile books, manuscript collections, or other rare items. The cost of microfilming is determined by the individual items on a case-by-case basis.

Copyright and Fair Use


Photocopies of manuscripts, vertical file or textual file materials, etc. $0.25/exposure  
Low-resolution scans of manuscripts, vertical file or textual file materials, etc. $0.25/exposure  
Photocopies of photographs or postcards $0.50/photo Includes both sides of the image to capture filing information
Handling fee $2.00/order  

Payment by cash, check, or money order (made payable to the California State Library) must be received before we can process your request. We can only accept cash for orders that total $10.00 or less. We cannot accept charge cards. All prices are subject to change without notice.

Delivery time

Photocopies Mail 3 weeks
Photocopies Pick up 5 business days
PDF files E-mail 5 business days

Contact the California History Section with inquiries regarding copying services.