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Durham University

University Library

Digitisation - Temporary COVID-19 Exceptions

We are pleased to tell you that in response to Covid-19, the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has temporarily relaxed some of the restrictions on digitisation. This offers an opportunity to provide some additional reading list content through the University Library and Collections digitisation service.

We have provided a summary of the key points below. However, we appreciate that this is a complex area and there remain many restrictions on what we can and cannot digitise. If you have reading list material for Easter Term 2020 only and would like us to investigate whether it can be digitised, please email the details to

Key changes

  • Up to 3 chapters (or 30%) of texts by selected publishers can now be digitised where Durham University Library and Collections owns a print copy of the book and where no e-copy already exists.
  • Up to a maximum of one chapter (or 10%) of the text can be made temporarily available to Durham University students, even if Durham University Library and Collections does not own a print copy.
  • Existing content made available in the CLA Store by other institutions can used temporarily.
  • The changes apply until 30 June, or the date from which the library re-opens. After this, content digitised under these changes must be removed immediately and will not be available.

It is important to note the following restrictions:

  • Please only send suggestions for material needed for Easter Term 2020. Do not send material needed for resits, as the material will not be available after 30 June at the latest.
  • Any material requested must be from one of the participating publishers – please see
  • As Library staff currently have no access to print copies held in our libraries we are not able to create new digital copies, although we are sourcing existing scans of the relevant chapters, where available. If an academic has a print copy and is able to provide a suitable scan, this can also be used.
    • A suitable scan must be in the form of a discrete article/chapter in a ‘readable’ online format which can be accessed with assistive technology e.g. the text is searchable and can be copied and pasted into a Word document.
    • If a request is received to digitise a book where Durham University Library and Collections doesn’t own a print copy, where possible we will buy one. This should enable us to provide digitised content once the temporary CLA provisions cease, subject to the standard copyright restrictions.
  • Digitised content must only be uploaded and made available via the CLA’s Digital Content Store.