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Using the Lilly Library

A guide for students in ENG-L504 to using the archival collections of the Lilly Library

Photographing Materials

Any printed material may be photographed in the Reading Room for reference purposes; in other words, you may take pictures for your own research but not publish them.

Most manuscript materials can also be photographed, but you must ask permission first. You can ask the Desk Attendant in the Reading Room or email in advance. As you already know, the Plath collections are heavily restricted by the estate.

You are free to post any material that you have permission to photograph on social media, as this kind of limited use seldom violates copyright or other law. If you would like to tag us, we are @iulillylibrary or #IULillyLibrary (Twitter and Instagram). Please do not post any restricted material on social media.


You can get up to 200 PDF pages and 50 jpg images professionally digitized for free by Lilly staff each semester. Please see all details and restrictions on our webpage.

Please allow two weeks for digitization orders to be processed. To begin your order, speak with the Desk Attendant in the Reading Room, who will give you a sheet to fill out and show you how to mark the material in the collection that you want. You can also email to place a digitization order if you already know specifically what you want.

Permission to Publish

To publish material from a library or archive, you must have permission both from the library and from the rights holder.

To request permission from the Lilly Library to publish our material, fill out a Permission to Publish form.

Procuring permission from the rights holder is the researcher's responsibility, not the library's. For some archival collections, we have contact information on the rights holder on file, so please don't hesitate to ask. However, if we do not have information on record, it will be up to you to track it down. Here is a helpful guide to seeking copyright permission and other rights.