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Using Hull History Centre: Copying & Referencing

Guide to how to use the facilities at HHC

“The dictionary is the only book that's not required to reference anybody”

Mwanandeke Kindembo 

Copying Archives

At Hull History Centre, copies of archival material can be made so that you can work on it further at home.

Material can be copied in the following ways, but please note that fees apply:

  • Using your own camera, you can take as many photographs as you like, provided that you purchase a day license for £16. Single photographs incur a cost of 30p per photograph. You can pay at the end and select the cheapest option.
  • Asking staff to photocopy material on your behalf, which is charged at 30p per A4 black and white copy, or 60p per A3 black and white copy. Colour copies are charged at 60p per A4 copy and £1.20 per A3 copy.
  • Requesting high resolution scans through our reprographics service, which are charged at a rate of £5 per image plus a £5 handling fee per order.

Using your own camera is by far the cheapest option, so don't forget to bring one with you if you think you might want copies.

Copying Exceptions

There are times when archival material cannot be photocopied or scanned.

Such instances include:

  • When the material is in volume or bound format, and placing it on a copier or scanner would damage the binding.
  • When the material is larger than the photocopier or scanner, and placing it on glass with the lid closed would risk ripping or creasing the item.
  • When the material is already damaged, or is very fragile, and the processes involved in photocopying or scanning it would risk damaging the paper, parchment or ink.
  • When the material is photographic in nature, and the processes involved in photocopying or scanning it would risk making the chemicals used to develop the image unstable.

The best thing to do in these instances is to use your camera to take photographs, making sure that the flash is disabled so as not to cause light damage to the material.

Copyright of Archival Material

Copyright in archives is complex.

Under copyright legislation, researchers can copy archival material for personal research use. However, researchers must seek permission from copyright holders in order to reproduce images for other purposes, such as exhibitions and publication. To protect against potential copyright infringements, most archives services require you to complete a copyright declaration form.

Ascertaining copyright ownership of archives can often be difficult; one small collection consisting of correspondence between one individual and 10 acquaintances involves 11 authors, and therefore 11 copyright holders. The best course of action is to seek the advice of the archives service responsible for the material in question. The National Archives of the UK have produced a guidance document outlining archival copyright issues, which you might find helpful.

If you wish to reproduce an item held at Hull History Centre for any reason other than personal research, please contact us for tailored advice at

For more general information about copyright please see the University Library's Copyright Help Guide.

Acknowledging Copyright Permissions

If you wish to acknowledge permission to reproduce material held at Hull History Centre, for which we have the authority to grant permission, please use the following attributions:

  • For anything with a reference beginning 'U' - '[Reference Number] used with permission of Hull University Archives at Hull History Centre'
  • For anything with a reference beginning 'C' or 'L' - '[Reference Number] used with permission of Hull City Archives and Local Studies Library at Hull History Centre'


When citing from archival material, you need to reference the source.

This works the same as if you were citing a passage from a journal article or book.

Footnotes and endnotes should be written in accordance with University guidelines and referencing systems.

For further guidance please see the University Library guide 'Referencing Your Work'.

When referencing a citation from material held at Hull History Centre, make sure to include:

  • the reference number, which is usually something like U DPO/1/1, C CQA/1/1, or L WH/1/1
  • the repository name, which is Hull University Archives for any item with a reference beginning U, Hull City Archives for any item with a reference beginning C, or Hull Local Studies Library for any item with a reference beginning L
  • the location where the material is held, i.e. Hull History Centre