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Manuscripts and Archives (Repository) Researcher Information: Permission to Publish

This guide provides a variety of information for researchers using the reading room and collections of Manuscripts and Archives, in Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University.

Effective 4/11/22, Yale University Library special collections reading rooms are open to non-Yale researchers. Please see the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University for information on gaining access.

Seeking Publication Permissions

Yale University will supply permission to publish from collection items only when Yale University is unambiguously the copyright holder. If Yale University is not unambiguously the copyright holder, or if the collection item falls under the copyright regime of a country other than the United States, you do not need, nor can we supply, Yale University's permission simply as the physical owner of the material.

If your intended use of Yale University collection items falls within the fair use limitations on copyright specified in the U.S. copyright law (§ 107, Title 17, United States Code), you do not need our permission for that intended use. We cannot give advice on or determine for you whether fair use applies to your intended use.

Additionally, Yale University celebrates the public domain, and you do not need Yale's permission simply as physical holder of the collection material to publish anything that is in the public domain in the United States. See the first item in the "Other resources" list below if you require assistance in determining when an item passes into the public domain in the United States.

For permission to publish collection items, or portions thereof that you determine are not fair use, for which Yale University does hold copyright, the following terms and conditions apply:

  • For quotations from collection items that you determine fall outside of fair use, we will supply permission to publish and no fee is charged.
  • For the commercial publication or distribution of facsimile reproductions of collection items, we will supply permission and charge a use fee. This includes any publication for which the creator or distributor receives a payment or royalty. The fee may be waived for non-commercial publication, including dissertations submitted for a degree at an academic institution.
    • If you wish us to consider waiving this use fee for facsimile reproductions of collection items for which Yale University holds copyright, you must include a statement as to the non-commercial nature of your intended use in your Application for Permission to Publish Manuscripts and Archives Collection Material for which Yale University is the Copyright Holder.
  • All approved uses of collection material must include a credit line or citation for the collection and repository, the exact form of which will be specified on notice of approval.
  • Permission granted by Yale University is non-exclusive and does not remove the author’s or publisher’s responsibility to guard against infringement of rights that may be held by others.
  • Fees for permission to publish or distribute facsimile reproductions of collection items for which Yale University is the copyright holder are separate from fees charged for supplying digital facsimiles of the same material.
  • We will not sign third-party licenses or forms relating to copyright permissions, including those supplied to authors by their publisher. This is a Yale University policy and is not negotiable.

To request publication permission based on these terms and conditions, you must:

See the U.S. Copyright Office website for additional information on copyright, and also for information on privacy and publicity rights.

Other resources relating to copyright that may be useful to researchers: