The Bancroft Library receives approximately 50-75 new duplication and permission orders every week. Library staff have found that many patrons have the same questions about the ordering process, so we have created a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help guide you through the ordering process. Please read through the list of FAQs below before emailing staff with a question, as it is likely that it has already been answered.
Please also note, the research quality PDF service accommodates the reproduction of whole volumes, whole folders, or whole collections.
[Title of collection], [Call number of collection]. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Ex: Alexander Holland Papers, BANC MSS 80/375 c, box 1:7. Courtesy The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
The image I want is on the Online Archive of California and/or Calisphere, can’t I just grab it from there and use it in my book, in my documentary or on my website? The images found on both the Online Archive of California and Calisphere are medium resolution images in a jpeg file format. The Bancroft Library requires that all images used in publication be derived from our high resolution preservation master tiff files. A high resolution image file can be obtained through duplication services and is a requirement of obtaining permission to publish any reproduction of collection material. For more information about the image file types available please see the Duplication Services tab on this LibGuide.
I believe that the material I would like to publish is in the Public Domain. Why do I still need to pay a fee? These fees are assessed by The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical collection material and must be distinguished from any fees that might be assigned/assessed by a copyright holder (if one exists). The current policy is that these fees are assessed regardless of the copyright status of the material, as they are considered access fees and not copyright fees. We do not waive fees based on the copyright status of collection material.
I’m working on a book/exhibit/documentary and would like to include some material from the collection of The Bancroft Library. I have a list of 10 images I’m interested in but we might only have space or 5 or 6 images in the finished product. Do I have to pay a permissions fee for images that we might not end up using? We recommend ordering just the high-resolution images first, with no permissions attached. Once you have figured out exactly what reproductions will be in your project you can submit a permissions only request for just the images that you would like to use. Be sure to note on your permissions form that you have already received the high-resolution image file from us when filling it out.
We do not offer refunds for permission fees paid for but then not used in your project (see our eCommerce page for more information).
What if I do want to publish something I've already had duplicated via Publication-Quality Imaging? The Bancroft Library currently requires that all requests to publish are submitted on the Duplication and Permissions Order form via Aeon, approved by the Permissions and Access Officer, and fees are then assessed for all publications. This is in addition to you being required to obtain copyright clearance.
When placing your request select the “Permission Only” option on the Duplication and Permissions Order form in Aeon. Please make a note in the “Notes to Library Staff” field that a high resolution image has been obtained previously, with the invoice number of that order.
Please note that while The Bancroft Library 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 Berkeley Regents. 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). In order to publish, display, or in any way further distribute any duplicates of materials obtained from The Bancroft Library, you are solely responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions from copyright holders to the extent required by the U.S. copyright law.
Can you tell me who currently holds copyright to the material I would like to publish? The Bancroft Library is not the copyright holder for materials in most collections, but we can provide you with information that we have available regarding copyright for the material you've requested. We cannot, however, warrant the accuracy of such information and shall not be responsible for any inaccurate information. The Bancroft Library will not do research concerning the existence and/or whereabouts of copyright holders or provide you with any legal advice.
I am working on a biography of (insert person here) and I want to make sure no one else publishes the material from The Bancroft Library collection before I do. How can I ensure I have sole rights to publish? The Bancroft Library does not grant exclusive publication rights. By giving permission to publish a manuscript, the Library does not surrender its own right to publish it or to give others permission to publish it. Exclusive publication rights are sometimes a condition when The Bancroft Library obtains a collection and that will be clearly communicated in that collections record in OskiCat.
Where do I send the copy of my publication? The Bancroft Library, Attn: Permissions & Access Officer, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
I would like to quote from an Oral History created by the Oral History Center, how do I do that? Full information about quoting from oral history transcripts can be found here, and information about quoting or using oral history audio and video can be found here.
The American Library Association offers many tools to help you understand the various stages and vagaries of copyright on their Copyright Tools website. These tools include a Public Domain Slider to help determine the copyright status of a work that was first published in the United States, a Fair Use Evaluator to help users understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a “fair use,” and many others.
The U.S. Copyright Office provides information about How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.
U.S. Copyright Office Database: The Copyright Office is an office of public record for copyright registrations and related documentation and they maintain copyright registrations for all works dating from January 1, 1978, to the present, as well as renewals and recorded documents in a publicly accessible database.
WATCH Files: Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders is a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent figures in other creative fields. The database is administered by the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin.
The American Society of Picture Professionals has created a helpful website for those seeking information about publishing pictorial work.
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 provide information on documenting your effort to search for copyright owners and potentially using orphan works.
University of California Copyright: Copyright and fair use are of special concern in higher education and research. As both creators and users of copyrighted and public domain materials, members of the Berkeley academic community should understand and responsibly exercise the rights accorded them under U.S. copyright law. The information provided on this site is intended as a guide to copyright at the University of California, and should not be taken as legal advice.
I would love to use this portrait I found in your collection in my advertisement for (insert product here). Should I be concerned about anything other than copyright? The rights of privacy and publicity are separate and distinct issues from copyright. While copyright laws protect the copyright owner's property rights in the work, privacy and publicity rights protect the interests of the individuals who are the subject of the work. The right of publicity is a person’s right to control, and profit from, the use of his or her name, image and likeness. This means that any use of a person’s name, image or likeness for commercial gain is not permitted without his or her consent. The right of privacy is a person’s right to live outside of the public eye and free from the publicizing of intimate details of his or her life, which means that directing unwanted public attention to a person may give rise to a cause of action. Keep in mind that while a person's right to privacy generally ends with his or her death, publicity rights associated with the commercial value of that person’s name, image, or likeness may continue after their death. For example, many estates and representatives of famous deceased authors, photographers, celebrities, and other well-known figures continue to control and license use of their names and likenesses.
Unlike copyright, which is subject to the federal Copyright Act of 1976, privacy and publicity rights are subject to state laws; hence, what may be permitted in one state may not be permitted in another. Although fair use is a defense to copyright infringement, it is not a defense to claims alleging violation of privacy or publicity rights. You are solely responsible for addressing issues of privacy and publicity rights relating to your use of the materials. You can view the right of publicity statutes for your state on the Right of Publicity website.