Library of Congress

Duplication Services

The Library of Congress > Duplication Services > Customer Service > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Digital Scan Service

Can I have my scans emailed?
Yes. In many cases you can have digital scans of files and photographs emailed to you via one of our web-based FTP clients. File sizes that exceed 100MB are usually mailed using one of our mail courier services, UPS, Federal Express, or USPS.

How long will the file be available for me to download?
The e-mail service is a delivery service. You should download your files immediately and save them to a dependable hard drive. Files are deleted from the server after approximately one week, and have a limit of 3 downloads per file.

What are the scanning specs for negatives and original material?
Duplication Services has set guidelines for scanning. Our specifications are:

  • B&W negatives and original material: 8-bit grayscale
  • Color negatives/transparencies and original material: 24-bit RGB
  • File Format: Uncompressed TIFF
From negatives (excluding nitrate)
Negative size DPI Specifications
35 mm 3200
2 1/4 x2 1/4" 2400
4 x 5" 1200
5 x 7" 800
8 x 10" 600
From nitrate negatives
Negative size DPI Specifications
35 mm 3200
2 1/4 x 2 1/4" 2400
4 x 5" 1200
From original material (Prints and Photographs)
Object size DPI Specifications
4 x 5" 800
5 x 7" 600
8 x 10" 400
11 x 14" 300
From original material (other materials)
Object size DPI Specifications
4 x 5" 1400
5 x 7" 600
8 x 10" 600
11 x 14" 300

Note for Original material:
We can not scan any original material bigger then 24 inches at this time. See FAQ's under Photographic Services, for more information. If you have any questions about this you can contact our Customer Service at: 202-707-5640 or email us at [email protected].

What is the DPI for a high resolution 8x10 negative?
Duplication Services has set scanning specs. We scan all 8x10 negatives at 600 DPI.

What kind of reproduction is available from a book in the LC collection?
Duplication Services can retrieve a book from the LC collections and produce a color or B&W photocopy, a PDF "quick scan" of individual pages, or a high resolution digital scan. From the high resolution digital scan, color or B&W digital prints can be produced. Digital files of all types can be sent via email, or on CD via FEDEX. After an order is placed and the search fee applied to your order, a collections searcher will then retrieve the original material and provide you with a page count/estimate.

Any question that requires research (ex: "What are the differences between these two maps?" that should be referred to a reference librarian in the appropriate reading room or the "Ask a Librarian" link at the LOC main page)

Do you scan at 300 dpi? My publisher says I must have 300 dpi.
All high resolution scans have a minimum 300 dpi. See the specification details provided in answer to the question "What are the scanning specs for negatives and original material?" If you have specific resolution requirements, please contact Customer Service.

How long does it take?
The turnaround time for most orders is 2 to 3 weeks, but may take longer for large or complex orders.

Is there a discount for scholarly publications or non-profits?
No. Duplication Services is a program that is legislatively required to cover its expenses through fees. In charging for our services, we aim to provide the greatest access to the collections and content of the Library of Congress at the most affordable price.

What do I do if there isn't a reproduction number?
You will need to use what is in the "Call Number" field.

Photographic Service

You may not see these services on the price list, but you can still get them. If you have any questions about this you can contact our Customer Service at: 202-707-5640 or email us at [email protected].

Can I still order 8x10" black and white negatives?
Yes, please contact Customer Service to order 8x10" black and white negatives from original material.

If the original material I want is over 24 inches what can I order?
Duplication Services can offer you two ways to duplicated original material over 24 inches.

  • Duplication Services can make a 8x10" black and white negative of the original material you want.
  • Duplication Services can make you a 2x2 color slide from the original material.

From the negative or slide that is created, we can make you a print or a scan.


How do I place an order online with Duplication Services?
Placing an order with Duplication Services is easy — just read the steps below for more information:

  • Select and Customize the Product You Want to Order
    When you are ready to order, use the online Order Form. Fill in the information requested at each step of the online ordering process. This will help ensure your order is fulfilled to you expectations and delivered as soon as possible. All orders must be accompanied by the REPRODUCTION NUMBER, CALL NUMBER, or DIGITAL ID for each individual item. These numbers can be found in online catalog records and are often included in publications that reference the original materials.

  • Check the Order Summary
    Please take a moment to review all the items you have placed in your cart before you click the Checkout button.

  • Enter a Shipping Address
    Tell us where you would like your order to be delivered. Please provide an address where someone will be available on the day of delivery, because the carrier may require a signature. As soon as you submit your order‚ the delivery address is verified.

    You can also choose the Delivery Method for your order, considering how fast you want your order to be delivered after it ships. The Delivery option only affects the time it takes for your order to be delivered after it is sent for delivery. It does not include the time it takes us to process your order and have it prepared for delivery.

  • Select a Payment Method
    Tell us where you would like to pay for your order. Payment by credit card will expedite processing. Payments by check or cash will need to be cleared or received before an order can be processed. All orders must be prepaid.

  • Review and Submit Order
    Check the accuracy of all the information you provided and make sure you have included everything you need, because we cannot make any changes or additions after you submit your order. When you are ready, click the Submit Order button.

  • What's Next?
    After you place your order, we will send you an email response that acknowledges the receipt or confirmation of your order within one business day. This email includes your order details, order number, customer number and the estimated delivery date. If we need further clarification about your order, an online sales representative will contact you within one to three business days after you place your order.

Is it safe to order online?
Yes. In order to use certain features of the Library's Web sites, you may need to submit personal information so we can respond appropriately. We will inform you what information we require and will only use it for the stated purpose.

How long does an order take?
The time taken to complete an order varies according to the format of the collections, the format of the copy, the condition and location of the collections, and the type of delivery requested. The quickest orders are those involving readily available materials in good condition, which are scanned and sent to the customer via email or FTP. The longest orders are those involving materials stored in the Library’s off-site locations, are in poor or fragile condition, require special handling and formatting, and are sent to the customer via standard shipping. In general, digital scans and digital and paper photocopying can be processed and delivered in 2-3 weeks. Orders necessitating the use of the Library’s microfilm and nitrate negative materials should allow 2-3 months for delivery. Customer Service will include an estimated delivery date when you place your order. Contact Customer Service directly for an initial delivery estimate.

What if I can't find the reference number of the item I want copied?
All orders must be accompanied by the REPRODUCTION NUMBER, CALL NUMBER, or DIGITAL ID for each individual item. These numbers can be found in online catalog records and are often included in publications that reference the original materials. If numbers are not found via these means, you can contact the reference staff in the curatorial division that has custody of the material you want copied (e.g., the Prints & Photographs division, the Geography and Maps division etc.) Examples of numbers: Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-120966; Call Number: PS3503.E4488 D3 1944; Digital ID: LC-DIG-fsa-8b29516

What are my payment options?
The following methods are available to make your payment when you order online:

  • American Express
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Discover

Payment can also be by made by check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank. International money orders are also accepted. Checks should be made payable to Library of Congress, Duplication Services. Orders will not be completed until payment is received.

If I was billed for the same order twice how do I get a refund?
For our records we would like to have scanned or faxed to our office a copy of both orders, along with a short note that you received the same material twice. If you cannot scan or fax the two orders, we would like to have the Sales Order number in the upper right-hand corner, your complete name, address, phone number, and other pertinent contact information like cell phone or email address, and the title and author of the work that was sent twice, plus the price you were charged.

My shipping address has changed. How do I alert you so that you will notice it?
Please review your order closely. Questions can be addressed by calling Customer Service at 202-707-5640 (Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST) and select "option 1" during the prompt. We will ensure the correct shipping address will be used. When using the Duplication Services order form, you may also specify "PLEASE NOTE: NEW SHIPPING ADDRESS" within the "Special Instructions" field.

Can I pay through PayPal? Can I make a purchase without a credit card?
Unfortunately, we do not accept payment using the PayPal service currently. Payment can be made using a check. When you provide a check as payment, you authorize us either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction. Money Orders are also a valid form of payment which can be purchased through the US Postal Service, Western Union, or any bank for cash. All checks and money orders must be US funds or they will be returned.

Can I return an order?
In cases where Duplication Services fails to provide a customer with the products specified in the original order, Duplication Services will refill the order at no charge, provided that the order is returned within 30 days of having delivered the order. Correcting these errors requires a review of the originally delivered items, and the patron will be required to return these to Duplication Services prior to refilling the order. If the return is a result of an error on our part, we will pay the return shipping costs. Items should be returned in their original product packaging.

What do I do if I ordered the wrong thing by mistake?
All orders must be accompanied by the Reproduction or Call number for each individual item requested; therefore, Duplication Services will only provide reproductions of the numbers that have been provided by the customer. Since the Library’s Duplication Services must recover the cost of providing reproduction products and services by charging fees, we are unable to provide a remake for an item that has been mistakenly ordered. A new order must be submitted citing the correct Reproduction or Call number and all fees associated with the product have to be pre-paid.

Rush Orders

What type of materials can I get or not get RUSH service for?
In most cases, RUSH service is available for items that are readily available from either the General Collections or Special Collections. Please contact a Customer Service representative for RUSH orders.

How long does a rush order take?
Rush service orders are completed in 10 business days for an additional charge of 100% or 300% of the base price of the order. The base price does not include shipping or processing fees. Processing fees double for all rush orders. Please note that the delivery date is not included in the 10-day turnaround time.


If I request an item that the Library of Congress doesn't have, can you send me a list of libraries that do?
Yes. We look through such sources as OCLC FirstSearch, the National Union Catalogue, the Union List of Serials, and others to find the other libraries that are credited with holding the book. If a thorough search yields no other holding institutions, we will inform you of this.

Whom do I call to get further information that is not on this Website?
Contact Customer Service. If you have questions about your order, you can ask to speak to the individual searcher who is handling your order.

I have a question concerning an item in the collections of the Library of Congress that requires the assistance of a reference librarian.
For questions concerning the nature of collections in the Library's custodial divisions, including the determination of a LC call number or reproduction number of an item, please use the "Ask a Librarian" link on the LC home page to receive the assistance of a reference librarian.


Do I need a letter of permission from the copyright holder to obtain a scan/hard copy of Library material?
Foreign newspapers dated 1923 and later require permission from the publisher/copyright holder to make reproductions. Maps and sheet music that are copyrighted will likewise require a letter of permission from the rights holder. As a repository, the Library of Congress does not grant or deny permission for the reproduction or other use of items in its collection or charge permission fees for use of such material. It is the recipient's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions (such as donor restrictions, privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks) when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library's collections. For images from the collections of the LC Prints and Photographs division, more information may be found here: For this material, a reference librarian from the Prints and Photographs Division may be able to provide more information; they may be contacted by phone (1-202-707-6394 (option 3), or via the web at: