Imaging Services and Open-Access Policy


The Library considers its extraordinary collection of books, maps, and prints the cultural patrimony of all the people of the Americas – and, indeed, the world – and is committed to making its materials available not only to academic scholars, independent researchers, and creative artists, but the general public as well. The digital revolution has made that possible like never before, and we are now unveiling – effective June 1, 2015 – an open-access policy that will help us bring our collection to those who are interested in it.

We are making final adjustments to our open-access policy, and hope to have that completed in the next couple of weeks. 

In the meantime, please contact the Imaging Department for any urgent issues. We thank you for your patience. 

For our book digitization policy, please click here.


Policy in vigor through May 31, 2015:

The Library assumes that an order for a digital image of any item in the collection is for personal use. If the image is to be publicly distributed in any form or medium—print, photocopy, digital, video, etc.—special permission fees may apply and the John Carter Brown Library must be formally and prominently credited. See information about permissions in link at left.

Requests are generally filled in order of receipt. Normal turnaround time is three to four weeks, depending on workload and the size of the order. Every effort will be made to honor deadlines. Rush service is sometimes possible, on request, for a 100% surcharge.

The Library reserves the right to refuse to scan items we deem too fragile.

We ask that all orders be paid in full before they are shipped. You will be contacted with a dollar amount owed and information on how to process your payment. After payment is determined, all orders will be shipped with a paid invoice. If you elect to pay online, this link will take you to a secure Brown University-authorized site where you may enter the dollar amount and invoice number. You will then be prompted to enter your credit card information. You may also pay with a check mailed to the John Carter Brown Library. All sales are final.  Fees and charges are subject to change without notice.

ATTENTION: Payment for all international orders will only be accepted through our ecommerce portal (i.e., credit/debit card).

The library uses a Cruse Synchron (CS 130/220SL) large-format table scanner featuring cold-cathode illumination. The digital files which result from the scans are at least 300 dpi and, depending on the original size of the image scanned, may be up to 825 dpi.