You are free to take pictures of displays in the building. We want you to get the most from our amazing collections.

Many of the items in our collections are rare and need to be carefully preserved. Although you can’t borrow anything from the Library or Archives, you can purchase a Personal Photography Licence during your visit. With this you can take as many photographs of the material you have each day. It costs £10 per day. This licence covers your personal use and research only. If you like we can make digital scans also. These cost £0.20 per A4, or £0.40 per A3 sheet.

Request or commission

You can request existing or commission new photographs of items in our collections. Your request or commission may also include digital scans of documents, illustrative prints, photographs and reproduction photographs of paintings. You may want a large volume of digital scans made from the Library or Archives collection. If this is the case you can request up to 30 images per order. We provide digital files which we can send to you by a secure email file transfer system (e.g. Dropbox or WeTransfer). 

To order a photograph you must complete a Photography Request form. Get in touch to get your form.

Payment is required in advance. All orders can take up to 14 working days to complete. 

Image charges

Private research (not for publication) Free £12.50
Websites, digital publications £12.50 (limited licence) £25 (limited licence)
Academic periodicals, books (small print run <1000) Free (limited licence) £25 (limited licence)
Commercial periodicals, books (medium print run <5000) £50 (limited licence) £100 (limited licence)
Film, TV, posters, books (large print run >5000) Negotiable Negotiable

Important information

Copyright restrictions

We have to stick to the law and be careful not to break any copyright rules. Generally this means:

  • We cannot provide copies of complete works, for example books, issues of periodicals and indexes
  • Only 5% of a work in copyright can be copied for research or private study
  • Only one copy of each page can be made
  • Only one article in a periodical issue can be copied
  • If copies of items still in copyright are required for commercial purposes, an additional £10 charge will be made (European Copyright Directive). This fee, a flat-rate not retained by the Museum, is passed to the Copyright Licensing Agency, which distributes it to authors, artists or publishers
  • Illustrations can be copied if they are part of a periodical article. They cannot be copied separately, as they are complete works in their own right
  • Copies exceeding the stated restrictions cannot be made without permission from the copyright holder
  • We are unable to trace copyright holders for you or seek permission to copy works
  • You must provide evidence in writing that a work is out of copyright or you have permission to copy more than the stated restrictions

Duration of copyright

Published works: This depends usually on the life of the author. Copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which an author dies.

Unpublished works: Copyright for unpublished works continues for 70 years after a writer’s death or until 1 August 2039, whichever is the later.

If the date of an author’s death is unknown, 1900 is used to determine the date after which items remain in copyright.

Looking after the collections

No matter how careful we are, over time copying damages books. We have to look after our collections so they’re available for future generations so we can’t copy any of the following:

  • Manuscripts
  • Archive material
  • Ritual
  • Minute books without prior permission from the lodge secretary
  • Books published before 1800
  • Periodicals published before 1900
  • Large format books which are too big to fit on the machine
  • Books that are already fragile
  • Complete archives, apart from overseas lodges, chapters or districts whose local records have been lost

Before we copy anything, we’ll inspect the item to make sure it’s in a reasonable condition. We can’t copy anything that has:

  • Torn, brittle or loose pages
  • Split or broken bindings
  • Damaged spines
  • Torn, missing or damaged covers/boards

To protect the collections from damage caused by copying, we can only copy a maximum of 20 pages or 10% of the book, whichever is smaller.

Terms and conditions

  • Museum of Freemasonry reserves the right to reject a request or commission without argument
  • Museum of Freemasonry decides if an existing image is suitable for distribution and upon request will notify the customer if there is no suitable existing image available. If no suitable existing image is available a commissioned image will be offered but this will increase the cost as stipulated
  • Museum of Freemasonry, or the recognised copyright holder, reserve all rights to respective images, and are to be credited accordingly at publication, i.e. ©Museum of Freemasonry, London
  • All images are produced and retained as (300DPI) high resolution scans (JPEG/PDF format as required)
  • All images are delivered with a credit caption and a licence disclaimer
  • Image size is determined by cm or pixels measuring the longest side
  • The scale of reproduction charges depends on what you require and the image size. Charges may be waived in whole or in part at the discretion of the Museum
  • Images are procured on the guarantee that they will be used exclusively for the stated purpose, including additional marketing and promotional needs associated with that purpose
  • Museum of Freemasonry reserves the right to insist an image from its collection is removed from publication if it is deemed that terms have been knowingly breached
  • Images are subject to agreement. We do not allow manipulation, extreme colouration or cropping of our images i.e. removing backgrounds, adding shadows or otherwise affecting the image to subvert, undermine or devalue the subject
  • Museum of Freemasonry can process up to 30 images and no more per order. All orders are processed and completed individually and it can take up to 14 days to complete an order. If an order is delayed the Museum will notify the customer within 48 hours