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Duplication & Permission Services at The Bancroft Library

A guide to the duplication and permission services available at The Bancroft Library, including information on how to request these services and a list of frequently asked questions.

Permission Services Overview

Permission in the form of a license for works held by the Library will only be given if the work is held in copyright by the UC Regents, and you have determined that your use exceeds fair use. You do not need permission if your use is a fair use. More information about copyright, making fair use decisions, and how to find copyright holders can be found on the "Copyright, Fair Use, and Your Project" page of this guide.

Information can be found below for the following permission types:

A fee is charged for licenses of all commercial projects.  A full explanation of our licensing fees can be found on the "Fee Schedule" page of this guide. The completed, countersigned license will be sent to the email address registered in Aeon within 4 weeks of payment being received.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions tab if you have a question about permissions that is not answered below.

Permission to Publish Quotations, Excerpts, or Images

In keeping with Library policy, researchers seeking to quote from or otherwise reproduce in facsimile any Library 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 on the "Copyright, Fair Use, and Your Project" page of this guide.)

Please use the following chart to determine whether you must obtain copyright permission from the rightsholder (which may be the Library) to publish content from within the Library’s collections, and whether a fee may be assessed.


Copyright Status of Work Permission Requirements
Work is in the public domain No copyright permission is needed or provided. No fee to publish.
UC Regents own copyright Library’s copyright permission is required to publish only if researcher determines that the intended use exceeds fair use.  If Library’s copyright permission is sought, follow the instructions on the "How to Order Services" tab of this guide.
Third party owns copyright No permission from Library required or given. Copyright permission is required from third-party copyright holder if researcher determines that the intended use exceeds fair use. Any fee schedule is set by actual copyright holder.

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.

As indicated in the chart at the above link, for instances in which your intended publishing would exceed fair use and it is the UC Regents who hold copyright to the underlying work, you must request the Library’s copyright permission to publish by submitting a permissions order in Aeon. Information about fees charged can be found on The Bancroft Library's fee schedule.

The Library 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 the Library—to request permission if the intended use will exceed fair use.

Permission for Reproducing Full Texts / Entire Editions

The Library charges a fee for reproducing full-text/entire edition of a work based on nature of your intended use (commercial vs. non-commercial). Permission can only be granted for material to which the University of California Regents own the copyright. If the Library’s copyright permission is sought, submit your request through Aeon.

Requesting Permission to Use Thérèse Bonney Images

Licensing for all Thérèse Bonney photographs changed in July of 2022. Please see the Easy to Use Collections tab for more information.

Permission to Publish Oral History Center (OHC) Sound Recordings or Audio/Visual Interviews

The Oral History Center (OHC, formerly the Regional Oral History Office or ROHO), a research group of The Bancroft Library, documents the history of California, the nation, and the interconnected global arena. OHC produces carefully researched, audio/video-recorded and transcribed oral histories, and interpretative historical materials for the widest possible use. In service to our mission OHC makes full transcripts of most of their interviews available as a PDF through their website.

Historically, all interviews were transcribed from their original recordings (usually on reel to reel tapes or cassettes) and interviewees were given the right to review, edit, and seal the interview if they wished. Many interviewees submitted edits, deletions, and seals upon the reviewing the full transcript. When these edits were made in the final transcript that document then becomes the document of record, and end-users are then required to quote from the transcript rather than the original recordings, which remain unedited.

You may wish to listen to and possibly use the audio recording, rather than the transcription.  In order to allow access to this material while preserving the intent behind having the transcript (rather than the audio) be the document of record, we ask that you review the required steps below.


View the transcript
Most oral histories have published transcripts available, either online as a PDF or as a bound volume in the reading room.  You will want to consult this transcript to get an idea of what quotes you are interested in using.  You can determine which tape(s) you would like to hear by consulting the time codes and/or the tape guide found in the back of each transcript (see the table of contents for the exact page number of the tape guide).  
Most of the raw audio of the OHC interviews have not been digitized and exist only on magnetic media, like cassettes or VHS tapes. For preservation purposes the Library does not allow access to magnetic media, so any interview which exists solely on this type of carrier will first need to be digitized. 

If you are planning to visit the Library we can make the recordings available to you in the reading room once they have been digitized, or you can request a digital file to review remotely. We use an off-site vendor for our sound recording digitization, and the process of having these recordings digitized will take a minimum of two months, no matter which option you choose below. 

  • If you would like to request to listen to the original recordings in the reading room, submit your request in Aeon requesting the specific tape numbers you found in the tape guide of the transcript.  Instructions on how to do so can be found here. No fee is charged for digitization to listen to the recordings on-site.
  • If you would like the digital files to be sent to you then you are responsible for the cost of digitization, which is roughly $50/cassette. If you would like to request a digital file of the original recordings, submit your order in Aeon requesting the specific tape numbers you found in the tape guide of the transcript . Instructions on how to do so can be found here.  

The Library will ask you to affirm that you will not use or quote from any part of the sound recording unless it matches what is available in the transcript before we allow you access to the recording.

Listen to the Recording

Review the recording to ensure that it is something that you would like to use. Match the recorded version of the interview to the transcript and confirm that the recording you would like to use is not something that was edited out of the transcript by the interviewee. If the audio matches the transcript, and you would like to use snippets of the audio, you will need to determine whether a license is required for your use.


Determining Fair Use or Requesting a License

You may not need a license from anyone if you believe your use is a “fair use.” I will outline the steps you need to work through to determine whether your use is a fair use, but evaluating and applying the below steps are your responsibility; we cannot make fair use determinations for you. 

Publication/re-publication of copyright-protected material can be a fair use if done for certain purposes (e.g. scholarship, criticism, research, teaching, etc.) and you balance four factors that speak to overall fairness. 

  1. The purpose and character of the use: Are you planning to use the material for non-commercial/non-profit educational uses, or within a commercial work? The fair use statute indicates that nonprofit educational purposes are generally more likely to be considered fair than commercial uses. Often the most important consideration for thinking about this first factor is: Will your use of the material be considered "transformative," such that you are not merely reproducing them but rather adding something new or original (new insights or understandings)? The more your project has to say about the material or image -- that is, really working with it rather than just including it because it’s merely illustrative -- the more likely it is that you’re adding new insights or understandings which were not the original author’s intention in creating the work. (In other words, the more likely it is that you’ve transformed it from its original purpose.)

  2. The nature of the copyrighted work: Has the material that you hope to use been previously published?  Is it more factual (e.g. quoting from a biography) than creative (e.g. a portion of a poem)?  The use of previously published and/or nonfiction is more likely to weigh in favor of fair use than use of unpublished and/or fictional work. (In part, this is due to recognition of authors as having the right to determine when their material is first published.)

  3. The amount and significance of the portion used in relation to the entire work: Generally speaking, by using less of the original work, your use is more likely to be considered fair, but it is also important to consider whether what you are using is the “heart” of the original work (even if only a small amount). There is no set percentage of a work that automatically renders a use fair, or that automatically rules out a finding of fair use. Instead, best practices for falling within fair use mean reproducing an amount limited to what is necessary and appropriate for why you are using it.

  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: This factor asks that one consider whether the use serves as a substitute for purchasing or licensing the original. If the use harms or would likely harm the current market for the original work (for example, by displacing sales of the original), then the use is less likely to be fair.


If you decide that your use does not fall under "fair use," then you can request a license from The Bancroft Library. You can submit a request for a license through Aeon, the same system you used to either request to listen to the audio in our reading room or obtain a digital copy to listen to remotely.  Step-by-step instructions on placing a permissions request can be found here.  A fee may be charged for a license, depending on the nature of the use.  Please see our fee schedule for more information.