Request Scans

As part of our service to readers, the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center provides scans from books and manuscripts in the collections for your research use. These scans are provided in accordance with the United States copyright law and the Library's Policies Governing the Use of Archives, Manuscripts, and Special Collections.

Scanning is limited to materials in sound physical condition and not subject to legal or donor restrictions. All requests for scans are subject to staff approval.

Permission to scan does not convey the right to reproduce or publish the material. It is the researcher's sole responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the holders of copyright for reproduction or publication of material in Special Collections. Please consult the Guidelines for Reproducing or Publishing Materials for more information.

Placing an order:

On-site visitors to our reading room: Please see a Special Collections staff member for instructions.

Off-site researchers: can make a scan request using our online form. A staff member will contact you with instructions/more information about your request.

Requests from current University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff receive the highest priority. Requests from the general public may take longer.

All requests must be paid for when the order is placed. Payment can be made by credit card, check, wire transfer, or University FAS payments. Instructions on how to pay can be found in your SCRC account.

  • Please note that all orders placed online are subject to a $10 processing fee.

Due to the high volume of scanning requests, each researcher has a one-time limit of 500 pages and we are not able to review more than 10 boxes. If more than 500 pages are needed, please consider hiring a freelance researcher to visit SCRC for you as we allow unlimited self-service photography in our reading room. The Newberry Library and the Chicago History Museum maintain lists of local contract researchers.

  • A $20 surcharge will be applied to all orders of more than 300 pages or orders that take extra time to process. Orders over 300 pages can take up to six weeks to complete.

Reference Quality PDF Scans:

Box scan limit: 100 pages per archival box or 200 pages per storage carton per researcher

Book scan limit: Up to 50 pages per bound volume, within the limits of copyright if applicable, per researcher

  • PDF scans in grayscale or color cost $.25 per page, regardless of size of original

Publication Quality Scans:

Digital images are sent as TIFF files with a resolution of 400-600 dpi for 8-bit grayscale and for 24-bit color.

Grayscale or Color Images:

  • $10 per image
  • Scan limits: 50 pages per bound volume or archival box for grayscale; limit of 10 scans per bound volume for color

Copies of Existing High Resolution Files:

  • $2.00 per image


Please consult Special Collections staff for information about copies from microfilms.

For further information on charges and schedules, contact: Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center Send us a question or copy request