Proper Handling of Materials for Photocopying
If you were a book on a popular subject, would photocopying feel like torture on the rack? From the book's point of view, being opened, stretched and copied could be stressful, even damaging, to its structure. Consider the number of times in a quarter a particular book or journal might be photocopied by students in a large class.
Your careful handling can prolong the life of library materials for future researchers and for years to come.
Your careful handling minimizes rebinding and repairs which may halt, but not reverse damage.
Your careful handling delays replacement by harder to read film formats, or no replacement at all.
Examine the material you want to photocopy. What is the condition of the binding, good or damaged and fragile? When you open the volume, is there a sufficient margin inside the gutter of the book, or does the print run way down inside the crease of the binding? Is the volume is oversize and larger than the photocopy surface? Is the volume exceptionally heavy? You may need assistance in supporting the material. Is the paper in good condition or is it flaking away? Some materials may not be good candidates for photocopying (except with a scanning machine).
Select the proper photocopying machine. Look for raised or sharp metal edges that might tear paper. Dropedge machines are better for bindings, especially tight bindings, and when text runs into the gutter. These machines have a slanted, supportive surface on one side and a photocopying surface which extends into the gutter of the book, enabling photocopying without flattening the volume. Fragile volumes may be better copied with a scanning photocopier, which copies the material face up and cradled, corrects for curvature of the page, and uses a low light level which does not heat the paper.
Handle the materials gently. Support the book to prevent folding of the pages, twisting of the binding, and textblock hanging from the spine. Do not force the binding open! Never flex a book open over 180 degrees.
Support the edges. If paper and/or covers extend over the edge of the copier, for instance when copying a foldout map, get assistance in supporting the material and work carefully in unison.
For additional information and locations of equipment, contact Copier Services.
Location of dropedge/scanning photocopiers in the UCSD Libraries:
Library Copier Services (face-up scanning)
Scripps Institute Library
Social Science & Humanities Library, Reference area (in the Geisel Library)
Mandeville Special Collections in the Geisel Library
Return to Preserving Library Materials.