Use, copyright, and attribution

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a patron makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that patron may be liable for copyright infringement.

What does this mean?

It means that UC Irvine Special Collections and Archives provides any duplicates (photocopies, photographic copies, etc.) of materials from its collections solely for your personal research use under terms specified by U.S. copyright law.

It means that you do not have the right to republish, reproduce, display, distribute, broadcast, digitize and post on the World Wide Web, donate to another repository, offer for sale, or in any other way distribute these duplicates, or a portion thereof, in excess of fair use as defined by copyright law, without securing appropriate permissions(pdf) from the copyright holder.

You may certainly, however, quote from the duplicated materials in your own writings without permission to the degree permitted by the U.S. copyright statute cited above.

What if I do want to publish something I've had duplicated?

In order to publish, display, or in any way further distribute any duplicates of materials obtained from Special Collections and Archives, you are solely responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions from copyright holders to the extent required by the U.S. copyright law.

Please note that while Special Collections and Archives owns the materials in our collections, we usually do not own the copyright to these materials, except where it has been explicitly transferred to the University of California. You are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of materials and obtaining permission to use material from the copyright holder (owner of the intellectual property as defined by U.S. copyright law).

When the University of California is not the copyright holder, Special Collections and Archives cannot grant or deny permission to publish or distribute materials.

How do I find information on the copyright holder?

Although Special Collections and Archives is not the copyright holder for materials in most manuscript collections, we can provide you with information that we have available regarding copyright holders for the material you've cited. We cannot, however, warranty the accuracy of such information and shall not be responsible for any inaccurate information. Special Collections and Archives will not do research concerning the existence and/or whereabouts of copyright holders.

The U.S. Copyright Office provides information about How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work(pdf). If you are unable to identify or locate the current copyright owner of a copyrighted work, the copyrighted materials may be called an "orphan work." Columbia University Libraries and the Society of American Archivists(pdf) provide information on documenting your effort to search for copyright owners and potentially using orphan works.

Is there any additional information on how to find Copyright and Fair Use resources?

Copyright and fair use are of special concern in higher education and research. The University of California provides resources for both creators and users of copyrighted materials on this Copyright page. The UCI Libraries also provides a Copyright and Fair Use Resources page which can help you find answers to common questions about copyright and fair use. These resources are intended as a guide to copyright and should not be taken as legal advice.

How do I acknowledge the source of the material?

Please acknowledge "University of California, Irvine Special Collections and Archives" as the source of the material. We appreciate receiving a copy of any published work that features material from the collections.

For the benefit of current and future researchers, we strongly recommend citing any additional information about sources consulted in archival collections, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Do you loan materials?

On occasion, we honor requests from other libraries, museums, and archives that seek to display materials from the collection in an exhibition. These requests are limited to no more than 5 items, subject to administrative and risk management review. Please contact us to request a loan at least 2 years in advance of an exhibition. 

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions. We also provide duplication services.