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Requests for reproductions of library materials

Imaging Services is an on-campus resource for the conversion of paper and image-based materials to digital formats. Place orders for digital copies of MIT Libraries Distinctive Collections materials through the Distinctive Collections Request System. For more information regarding placing orders using this system please visit, requesting materials.

Copyright restrictions may apply to certain materials. For information regarding publication and permissions relating to Distinctive Collections materials, please visit the MIT Libraries’ Copyright Permissions Policy.

In most cases, fees will apply to cover set up and administrative costs related to processing an order.

Services offered

  • Digital imaging and photography (including color balancing and processing)
  • Special procedures for scanning fragile artifacts
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)
  • AV materials require special quotes as these requests are sent to a trusted vendor.
  • Quantity pricing may be available.

File standards 

Available digital file formats include TIFF, PDF or JPEG for paper materials and include MP3 for audio and MP4 for video for AV materials.

  • Items larger than 5 x 7 — 400 ppi
  • Photos and items smaller than 5 x 7 — 600 ppi
  • Visual materials (negatives/slides) — 2000 – 3000 ppi

Should you require formats outside of our standard practices, please detail those specifications in the “Additional Information” field of your request.

Fee schedule:

Distinctive Collections materials (prices are per image)

Due to setup and administrative costs, the following materials have a $30 minimum order amount.

  • Loose manuscript or bound volumes – $2.00
  • Oversize (over 18” x 24”) – $20.00
  • 35 mm slide or negative – $15.00
  • medium or large format negative/transparency – $25.00

Digital image retrieval (prices are per image)

  • $15 for 1-10 images; $1.50 per image in excess of 10

MIT Theses

Many MIT theses are available free of charge from MIT’s DSpace thesis collection. You can also search for MIT Theses in Search Our Collections, which will link to the full-text when available. If full-text isn’t available, you can request a digital copy directly from the item record, which will connect to the Distinctive Collections Request System.

  • MIT community (current MIT faculty, staff, and students only) – Free
  • General Public – $45

MIT technical reports and working papers

Some MIT technical reports and working papers are available online. For more information, please see Technical Reports and Working Papers research guides.

  • MIT community (current MIT faculty, staff, and students only) – $10
  • General Public – $25

Rush Charges

Requests typically take 2-4 weeks to complete. Depending on staff availability, placing a rush on an order may be possible. Contact us for more information. If a rush is feasible, the charges are as follows:

  • 5-Business-Day Rush add $50 surcharge, per order
  • 2-Business-Day Rush add $100 surcharge, per order