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 ask our staff to make photocopies for you. We do charge for this service and we have to make sure we don’t break any copyright rules.

Please find details of fees and restrictions below.


  • A4: 20p per sheet
  • A3: 40p per sheet

Photocopies by post

If you can’t visit in the museum in person, you can order photocopies to be sent to you by post. For this service we charge a handling fee (depending on the number of photocopies), plus the price of the photocopies. The fees are shown in the table below. You need to pay in advance. Get in touch to order photocopies.

Pages UK Europe Rest Of World
1 - 20 £3.00 £4.00 £5.50
21 - 50 £4.00 £5.00 £12.50
51 - 100 £5.50 £7.00 £18.00
101 - 150 £8.00 £9.00 £22.50
151 - 200 £10.00 £13.00 £25.00

Scans by email

Alternatively, you can order scans to be emailed to you as PDF files. The cost per page is the same, but there’s no postage charge. Get in touch to order scans.

Copyright restrictions

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

  • We can’t make copies of complete works. Examples of complete works include books, issues of periodicals, indexes and photographs/illustrations
  • We can copy a maximum of 5% of a work in copyright for research or private study
  • We can only make one copy of each page
  • We can only copy one article per periodical issue
  • If you need copies of material that’s in copyright for a commercial purpose, we charge an extra £10 (as per the European Copyright Directive). This fee goes to the Copyright Licensing Agency, which then passes it on to the author, artist or publisher
  • We can copy illustrations as part of an extract of a periodical article, but not on their own because they are complete works in their own right
  • We can’t go beyond these restrictions without the permission of the copyright holder
  • We can’t trace copyright holders or get their permission to copy things
  • If you have permission to go beyond the restrictions above, or you know that something is out of copyright, please provide evidence in writing

Duration of copyright

Published works

How long the copyright lasts usually depends on how long the author lives. Copyright expires 70 years after the end of the year in which the author dies.

Unpublished works

Copyright for unpublished works also lasts for 70 years after the writer’s death, or until 1 August 2039, whichever is later.

If the date of the author’s death is unknown, we assume any material published after 1900 is still in copyright.

Looking after the collections

No matter how careful we are, over time photocopying damages books. We have to look after our collections so they’re available for future generations so we can’t photocopy 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 photocopy anything, we’ll inspect the item to make sure it’s in a reasonable condition. We can’t photocopy 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 photocopying, we can only copy a maximum of 20 pages or 10% of the book, whichever is smaller.