Duplicates & Permissions

Special Collections & Archives encourages and supports research, teaching, and scholarship involving the use of materials from our collections. We provide a variety of services to meet the needs of our researchers.


  • Personal cameras

    SC&A encourages on-site researchers to use their own cameras in our Reading Room to capture images from SC&A collections for their personal reference and research use.

    Rules for use of personal cameras:

    1. No flash is permitted and any audible shutter sound must be turned off.

    2. A target must be placed next to item(s) to be photographed, and photographed items must be notated on a SC&A Request for Reproduction form.

    3. No standing on tables or furniture to take pictures.

    4. Items must remain on the table or foam supports and never placed on chairs, other furniture, or the floor.

    5. Staff must be consulted for assistance with photographing difficult items.

  • Scans and photocopies

    Researchers must complete a Request for Digital Access form and list specific items or folders to be scanned. When visiting, they must also place markers (provided by staff) next to the item to be scanned.

    Researchers may request scans of materials subject to the following restrictions:

    • Materials will not be harmed in the scanning process
    • Materials have been specifically identified by the requester
    • Generally, only a small percentage of a collection may be scanned. Researchers should consult the staff for large requests.

    Depending on the researcher’s preference, scans will be provided either as digital files or paper copies. Publication-quality copies are available on request.

Copyright and Permissions

  • Permissions policy

    Researchers seeking to quote from or otherwise reproduce in facsimile any SC&A collections materials in researchers’ own publications or other public displays do not need copyright permission to make uses that constitute “fair use” under copyright law. (Fair use is described further below with links to resources.)

    Please use the following chart to determine whether you must obtain copyright permission from the rightsholder (which may be SC&A) to publish content from within SC&A's collections.

    Note that this chart applies to copyright permissions only, and does not include due diligence that researchers must conduct regarding other legal restrictions that may apply to the materials’ use and distribution (e.g. privacy and publicity rights; contract, donor and other restrictions). It is the researcher’s responsibility to assess permissible uses under all laws and conditions.

    Table describing types of copyright found in SC&A materials
    status of work
    Permissions requirements
    Public domain works No copyright permission is needed or provided.
    Wesleyan owns copyright Wesleyan Special Collections & Archives’ copyright permission is required to publish only if the researcher determines that the intended use exceeds fair use.

    If permission is required, submit the Permission to Publish Request.

    Third party copyright No permission from Wesleyan is required or given. Copyright permission is required from third-party copyright holders if the researcher determines that the intended use exceeds fair use.
  • Researcher responsibilities

    Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any materials they may wish to use, making fair use determinations, investigating the owner(s) of the copyright and, where necessary according to the above chart, obtaining permission for the intended use.

    As indicated in the chart, for instances in which a researcher’s intended publishing would exceed fair use and it is Wesleyan University who hold copyright to the underlying work, a researcher must request SC&A's copyright permission to publish by completing and signing the Permission to Publish Request. With inquiries about more complex questions, sca@wesleyan.edu.

    SC&A cannot grant or deny requests to publish materials for which a third party holds copyright. Researchers must contact the copyright holder or copyright holder’s estate—rather than SC&A—to request permission if the intended use will exceed fair use.

  • Guidance on determining copyright status & locating copyright holders
    • Public Domain. Public domain refers to works for which copyright protections have expired, or works that were ineligible for protection from the start. Public domain works are open for use with no permission needed. The Library will not make public domain determinations for researchers. For assistance in determining whether a work is in the public domain, the UC Office of the President has provided helpful general rules of thumb in its Public Domain guide. For more detailed inquiries, we recommend using Cornell's chart, Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, in combination with the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database.

    • Finding Copyright Holders. For help locating third-party copyright holder(s), the following resources may assist your investigation:
    • WATCH File: The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) is a database primarily containing names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.
    • U.S. Copyright Office: You can search their public database for copyright information on all works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office after January 1, 1978.
    • For materials to which third parties hold copyright but the physical copies are stewarded by Special Collections & Archives, you may also contact Special Collections & Archives staff at sca@wesleyan.edu to determine whether the SC&A has any information about the potential copyright holder. SC&A makes no representations about the accuracy or completeness of copyright ownership information in its collections.
  • Determining whether your intended use is fair use

    A researcher does not need a copyright holder’s permission to publish when the intended use is fair use because United States copyright law contains a limited exception for certain uses made for teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. It is the researcher’s responsibility to determine whether the intended use is a fair use. The UC Berkeley Library cannot make a fair use determination for you.

    For guidelines on what uses qualify for the fair use exception, please see:

    Other Laws & Restrictions

    Please keep in mind that there are several laws and policies outside of copyright that also affect publication permission.

    • Gift or Donor Agreements: Requests to publish archival and other special collections materials stewarded by the Library may be subject to gift or donor agreement limitations. The Library reserves all rights to grant and deny Permission to Publish Request & Agreement inquiries based on these limitations.
    • Privacy & Publicity Rights: In addition, a researcher must also comply with applicable federal and state privacy and publicity laws when publishing certain materials. While copyright laws protect the copyright owner’s property rights in the work, privacy and publicity laws protect the interests of the individuals who are the subject of the work. In general, a person’s right to privacy ends with his or her death, but publicity rights associated with the commercial value of that person’s name, image, or likeness may continue after death. It is a researcher’s sole responsibility for addressing issues of privacy and publicity rights when publishing content from Library materials. For more information on privacy & publicity laws and rights, see the Digital Media Law Project page on privacy and publicity.

Citing Material

Whenever using, quoting, and publishing any materials from SC&A's collections, scholarly conventions require full source citation. SC&A for archival material suggests the following format, or an equivalent format conforming to discipline-specific citation standards:

[Identification of the item], Box [number], Folder [number], [Collection name], Special Collections & Archives, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA.

  • General citation information

    Many items in Special Collections & Archives are not the traditionally published books and periodicals you find in other libraries at Wesleyan. A significant proportion of our archival holdings are unique items - there simply are no others to refer to anywhere else. Some types of unique archival documents are: photographs; individual pieces of correspondence; diaries; multiple drafts and manuscripts of documents which later make their way into print; maps; printed ephemera (programs, schedules, visiting cards, tickets, or brochures); and posters or broadsides. Including an exact citation for items such as these is more difficult to do but also is all the more necessary given their specific subject matter and unique nature.

    Printed books and periodicals in Special Collections & Archives can for the most part be cited using the standard formats found in writing guides and handbooks like the Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA Handbook. Most of these sources do not contain extensive information for citing unique or archival items. As each special collections library or archives may have its own system for organizing its holdings, the way you cite items in Special Collections & Archives at Wesleyan may be slightly different when you cite original documents at other locations. When in doubt, ask a Special Collections & Archives staff member.

    Remember, including more information in your citation is always preferable to including less!

  • What to include in your citation

    The form your citation will take is determined by its place in your finished work. Citations tend to progress from either broadest to narrowest form of information or vice versa, depending upon citation style. In general, the following elements need to be present in the citation to assure that the readers of your work will be able to precisely identify what is being cited and locate it in the future:

    • Repository where the item is held. This will always be: Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
    • Collection or main record group in which the item is found (and collection number if available)
    • Subcollections, series, or subseries in which the item is found (if available)
    • Folder title (or filing unit) in which the item is found (if available)
    • The document itself, including page, section, or date information, where necessary
  • Examples

    Footnote format:

    Report of the Committee of Wesleyan Young Alumni Association of New York on Co-Education as Presented to the Trustees of Wesleyan University January 1900, in Trustee Matters 1899-1900 folder, Coeducation Collection 1867-ca. 1910, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.

    Muster Sheet for Battalion 8, Company II, Platoon 6 (August-October 1943), V-5 Platoons Muster Sheet folder, Navy V-5 and V-12 Training Unit Records 1942-1945, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.

    Faculty photograph 1870, Faculty Groups (photos) 1863-1875 folder, Wesleyan University subject files, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.

    Bibliography or endnote format:

    Diary, volume 1, p. 236, entry for October 24, 1862. William North Rice papers. Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.

    Department of English Annual Report 1991-92, Folder 3, Box 4, Wesleyan University department and academic program annual reports, 1874-, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.