State Library of South Australia

Digital camera now available for public use in the Somerville Reading Room

Date: 28 November 2016

The Somerville Reading Room (SRR) allows the public to access, under controlled conditions, heritage and preservation materials from the State Library of South Australia's collections. We are now pleased to provide a digital camera in this Reading Room for the public to use with items that can only be viewed in the SRR.

Somerville Reading Room digital camera
Somerville Reading Room digital camera

The camera can be used to create copies of heritage and preservation material suitable for personal study or research purposes only. It can also be used as an 'assistive' device for vision impaired customers as it has X5 and X10 zoom, which enlarges the material beautifully.

This function is also excellent for use with handwritten archival items such as diaries, letters and postcards. The enlargement is far greater than that offered by a magnifying glass and there is no additional light required - just the lighting level in the Reading Room.

We have had one happy customer who successfully used the camera to take copies of photographs from the albums of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Medical Association presidents' portraits from 1879 - 1971.

Copyright and copying restrictions

When using the camera to photograph materials, copyright laws for published items and donor restrictions for archival material apply.

Staff on duty in the SRR can provide advice on any restrictions relating to the copying and publishing of material. A completed 'Camera Use' form is required before any photographs of archival items are taken. 

If you require copies suitable for publication, orders can be placed with staff on duty in the SRR.

Things to remember when using the camera

It is fixed at a suitable height, with the lens locked into place. Book rests are available if the material needs to be placed closer to the camera.

You need to bring a USB to save the images, as the computer is not attached to a printer and there is no email access.

Instructions are provided on how to use the camera but staff are happy to help you to use the camera if needed.

Story by Ann Worthington, Services and Equipment Futures Librarian

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