Photographs: Research & Ordering

Subjects: How-To Guides
Tags: arts, how-to, photos

How to Order (starting August 2020)

Image Ordering has resumed!

Currently (as of Aug. 2020), there is a different ordering process than was used previously. 

If you would like to submit an order for an image from the MNHS Collections please follow these steps:

  1. Determine which images you are looking to purchase, either in Collections Online or from the physical collections
  2. Download and complete the Image Order Form. Be sure to complete the form completely including Collection/Record Title/Identifier and Document Title. Also be sure to sign the form and indicate the planned use.
  3. If the image is for any type of Public Use, you must also submit the Image Use Permission Request Form.
  4. Once the forms are completed, please email them to The Library Permissions Team will review your order and process it. 

Please Note:

  • At this time, there is still no online ordering for items in the Collection Online system.  Use the process above to submit all orders.
  • Turnaround time on image orders may be 2+weeks after the order is processed.
  • Rush Service is currently unavailable.
  • New orders will be processed on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Only digital images are available, no photographic prints can be processed at this time.

Images in Collections Online
If you are ordering multiple images from Collections Online you can submit one order form and provide a separate sheet that lists the images and their identifiers from Collections Online. 

Please look at the description of the image you want to purchase and determine if the following language is located under it. “Images and digital reproductions are temporarily unavailable for purchase. Please check back when MNHS library services resume.” This language is an indication that the image normally has a “buy” button and can be ordered at this time. Please submit the necessary paperwork to order the image.

Images that are in Collections Online without this "temporarily unavailable" language likely have a copyright, donor or other restriction on them. Contact our permissions team at for more information on these images.  

Images from MNHS collections (manuscripts, state archives, etc.)
To order photographs--or digital scans of documents or other items--from manuscripts and other collections, use the Image Order Form.  

[Note: this form is for duplication only. For non-personal uses/licensing, the Image Use/Permission Request form is also required.  See our Photographs: Use Permissions and Licensing guide for more information.]

Prices for Prints and Digital Scans (starting August 2020)

Digital Scans:

The price of a digital scan of regular-sized materials* is determined by the resolution of the image/size of the file.  See "Selecting a File Type" below for more information.   

Small  $7
Large $25
Extra-Large $60

*Digital copies of original materials that are larger than 16 x 20 inches cost $25.  This oversized category includes things like maps and architectural drawings.  


Physical prints are not currently available.  


Minnesota Historical Society Members receive a 10% discount on image duplications. 


Selecting a File Type for Digital Scans (starting August. 2020)

File Type Best For Technical Info
Small Internet publishing, reports, emails, student work, presentations, some printing (at original size or smaller only). 

JPEG only
1500 pixels, ~300 dpi 
2 to 15 MB file size 

Large Most uses, including publishing and printing up to 16x20 inches (unless original is very small),  TIFF or JPEG
3000-6000 pixel, ~300-600 dpi
20 to 60 MB file size
Extra-Large Very large printing, fine publishing, etc. 
Not every item can be ordered at this size (none of the 3-D collections, for example). 

TIFF only
6000+ pixels, 300-600+ dpi
20 to 100+ MB file size

Payment (starting August 2020)

Pay by Credit CardCheck out stations in a store at Sun Ray Shopping Center, Hudson Road near McKnight Road South, St. Paul, 9/12/1957

  • Put your credit card info on the form
  • MNHS can invoice and you can pay securely online (write "Invoice Me" on the form's credit card line)

Pay by Check

  • Indicate on the Image Order Form you will pay by check and then send your check in the mail via the address on the order form.
  • If ordering via paper form via the mail, mail the check and form together to the address on form.

Note:  We cannot process any Image Orders until payment is received.  

Delivery (starting August 2020)

Timeline for Delivery

  • When your order is received, we will first check to be sure that the image can be copied, according to our guidelines, copyright restrictions, etc.  
  • Orders will be completed within 2 weeks of permission being granted for copying.  
  • Please contact us for a completion date for orders with 40+ images.
  • Rush service is not currently available

Methods of Delivery

  • JPEG formatted files under 1MB or 1000k are sent via direct e-mail.
  • Large JPEG and TIFF formatted files are delivered through a secure FTP site.
  • Files may be compressed/zipped for delivery purposes, but will open to size ordered
  • For security reasons we cannot copy files onto disks or flash drives provided by customers.
  • A packing slip and/or use and permission PDF is shipped/emailed with each order.
Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
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