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Digitisation means creating a high-quality digital surrogate of an archival document or a rare book. There are many reasons for doing this, some examples are:

  • Access: Providing a digital copy of something so that it can be viewed remotely, or published
  • Exhibition: Curating a narrative using digital items
  • Preservation: Reducing handling on a fragile document, or ensuring the content on a vulnerable recording remains accessible
  • Publication: Creating a digital surrogate for use in a publication or broadcast

Much of the content on our Library’s Digital Collections and Digital Exhibitions platforms has been created from these types of digitised collections. The material that can be published on our platforms must adhere to strict copyright limits, and in some cases, there are special conditions governing access, for example some are only available by means of a log-in.

Our staff run an in-house digitisation programme from our existing collections, and we are continually adding to our online collections.

We also work on partnership projects with academics and researchers and provide reprographics services.


  • Researchers can request reproductions for private study, scholarship or research, and our staff will provide guidance regarding reproductions, rights, and any relevant fees that may apply. We have a form for these requests.
  • We have a self-service Zeta scanner in the microfilm room, adjacent to our Reading Room. This will scan material of up to A3 in size which can be saved to the patron’s portable drive. Please note that archives and special collections material cannot be removed from the Reading Room for this purpose.
  • We work on partnership projects with academics and researchers, and if you are interested in talking to us about the ways we could help with your digital project. Please contact us on


The library is committed to expanding access to heritage collections through technology. To support this goal, we have recently invested in modernising our digital imaging equipment.

Our latest acquisitions are the modular, flexible A0 iCam ‘Guardian’ imaging system with pneumatic book handling and Phase One camera system.

We also recently upgraded our bookscanner to a Bookeye 5. This handles delicately bound fragile material.

We have self-service Zeta scanner, which is in the microfilm room, adjacent to the Reading Room, and will scan material up to A3 in size. The Zeta scanner can output scans are JPGs, TIFFs or PDFs, which can be saved to the patron’s personal portable drive.

We do not currently have hardware for digitising audio-visual material.