To minimise handling of the rare and unique items in the Pictures Collection, the National Library provides a photographic service. Items are each photographed once, by the Library’s Photographic Section, and copies of the photograph are available for purchase and for use in publications, films and videos. If you need a moving, rather than a still image, you may request permission to film Pictures material. Some items which are particularly fragile, in use in an exhibition or have particular access restrictions, may not be filmed. Items in copyright may only be filmed if written evidence is produced that the copyright holder has authorised the filming.

Before permission to film is given, the person or organisation doing the filming must agree to a number of conditions. Many of these conditions are intended to protect the items being filmed from accidental damage.


Twenty-four hours notice is required, to allow staff to plan your visit so that your time will not be wasted. If you wish to film more than a few items, we may need more than 24 hours notice in order to prepare all the items for you.

To avoid disturbing other users of special collections material, filming generally needs to take place before 10am or after 5pm. We need to know how many people and cameras and lights you are bringing, and how many power points you will need, so we can plan whether the filming should take place in the Special Collections Reading Room or in another area.

Handling the Material

Staff will generally handle the material and place it in position for you. If you need to handle original material you must wear white gloves if requested. The gloves will be supplied by staff members.


  • should not be so close to the material that if they tip over they would fall on it
  • maximum 1000 lux
  • should be turned off when filming is not occurring
  • if the material begins to feel warm the lights must be moved further away; check dark surfaces particularly
  • electric cords should be placed so that they will not cause anyone to trip.


$90 per hour or part thereof. Fees are calculated from the time the camera crew begin setting up to the time they leave.

Permission to Publish

If you wish to reproduce the film or video or make it publicly available, you will need to complete an Intention to Publish form. On this form you undertake to acknowledge the Library in the credits. There is no fee for permission to publish, beyond the filming fee of $90 per hour.