I’ve just come across this recent Guardian article which highlights the astonishing variability of costs for UK researchers who want to photograph documents within archives: http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2013/may/23/history-research-costs-archive-fees
While some of the fees quoted may sound unreasonable, it’s true that we must also remember that archives are currently struggling to stay open, having suffered massive cuts to their funding.
If the fees are the answer to their existence, should we accept them? Or should the fees be standardised, with the possibility that a standard won’t help the differing financial positions across the country for each archive?
It’s a difficult predicament.