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Obtaining Copies from the Library

General policy
For most requests, staff can email PDF files or mail/fax photocopies. Copies from the Pre-1907 Wisconsin birth, marriage and death records must be ordered online and can only be sent as photocopies. It is illegal to make digital copies of these records. Please visit our Wisconsin Genealogical Research Service. For all other materials, follow the guidelines below.

Most Library materials may be copied unless their physical condition or legal constraints prohibit it. The Library reserves the right to deny photocopying of materials for either reason. Rare, fragile, and large format items such as bound newspapers may not be photocopied. Most other printed or microformed items may be photocopied.

Legal constraints require that all copying comply with the U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code). According to that law, most publications issued between 1928-1977 and all works issued after 1978 are protected by copyright and can only be reproduced according to "fair use" guidelines. Fair use has been interpreted by the courts as a single copy of an article or a short portion of a book, such as an individual chapter. Reproducing an entire copyright-protected book, even for private study, is against the law. You are responsible for compliance. Consult the U.S Copyright Office for more information on the copyright law.

Placing an Order
Researchers who cannot visit the Library may order copies by mail, fax, or e-mail. We do not accept orders by phone. Email us at

Requests that do not include a specific reference to title, author and page numbers will be treated as requests for research assistance. The Library can provide only limited research service and reserves the right to turn down research requests on a case-by-case basis.

Click to display an overview of all Library-Archives service fees.

Credit card (Visa or Mastercard) payment is preferred, and is required for international orders. When confirming the order, provide your credit card number, expiration date and name as it appears on the card. If you are unable or unwilling to pay via credit card, contact staff to discuss other methods of payment.

On-site copying
Visitors may use self-service machines to copy printed materials and microforms or save images to a flashdrive. Copies cost 7¢ from printed materials and 25¢ from microforms. Saving images to a flashdrive is free. Copiers do not operate with cash but rather with a Debitcard, purchased from a machine near the Library Circulation Desk (2nd floor). To purchase a Debitcard you must use a $1 bill. The Library can neither break bills nor provide bills in exchange for coins. Staff will be happy to assist you with the copying equipment as necessary.

For more information about obtaining copies, call the Library Reference Desk at 608-264-6535.


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