Still restrictions (against the law) on photos in archives: ANAI's complaint

The Italian National Archival Association sends a statement to complain that the law allowing free photographic reproduction of archival documents is still not being enforced in some archives.

TheItalian National Archival Association (ANAI) sent a press release to denounce situations of non-enforcement of Law 124/2017, which allows scholars to take photographs of archival documents free of charge, as long as it is not for profit. However, ANAI, on the recommendation of several scholars, notes how restrictions are still being placed in some archives. Below is the full text of the statement:

ANAI, since the approval of the motion of the Higher Council for Cultural Heritage on May 16, 2016, had expressed full satisfaction with the outcome of the long process that, with Law 124/2017, has finally made free and free from prior authorization photographs by own means in archives and libraries for nonprofit purposes, in order to promote historical research by meeting needs strongly felt by the scholarly community.

Circular 33 of the General Directorate of Archives has regulated the application aspects of the new regime, preparing in particular a self-declaratory model that the user is asked to sign at the end of the filming with one’s own means to declare that he or she has acted in compliance with the rules on physical protection, the right to privacy and copyright.

However, alarmed reports are reaching our Association from scholars from which we learn that in some institutions certain limitations are still being put in place that, in fact, continue to prevent users from using their own medium for reproductions of material already granted for consultation in the ordinary way.

Sharing the content and spirit of the statement of “Free Photographs for Cultural Heritage” dated 12/21/2017 and the Coordination of Historical Societies dated 02/19/2018, in order to ensure the most uniform and correct application of L. 124/2017, the Anai hopes, by offering its collaboration, that it will come to the formulation of guidelines that clearly and unambiguously regulate the reproduction by its own means of archival and bibliographic assets starting, for example, from virtuous examples and good practices that also are not lacking in the landscape of conservation institutions, so as to operationalize the principle of alignment between consultation and reproduction sanctioned by the aforementioned motion of the Superior Council Mibact of May 16, 2016.

Supporting research activity, the primary objective of liberalization, helps to strengthen the bond of trust that should unite users and administration, which is also an indispensable premise to ensure the survival over time of the archives themselves as centers of active promotion of knowledge.

Rome, March 5, 2018

The Anai National Executive

Still restrictions (against the law) on photos in archives: ANAI's complaint
Still restrictions (against the law) on photos in archives: ANAI's complaint

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