U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Publishing National Archives Photos

Generally, photographic records copied and sold by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) may be published without special permission or additional fees. NARA does not grant exclusive or non-exclusive publication privileges. Copies of Federal records, as part of the public domain, are equally available to all.

A portion of the photographs among our holdings are or may be subject to copyright restrictions. The National Archives does not confirm the copyright status of photographs, but will provide any information filed with the photograph.


Crediting the National Archives

Proper credit lines are encouraged in the interest of good documentation. They also help inform the public about government photographic resources that are available.

Because so many of our requests cite credits and captions that appear in published works, the inclusion of a photo number is of great assistance to both us and the public.

Examples of preferred credit lines are as follows:

National Archives photo no. 111-B-4246 (Brady Collection)
National Archives photo no. 80-G-32500
Credit National Archives (photo no. 306-NT-186000)
Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 26-G-3422
National Archives (111-SC-202199)

The National Archives will appreciate receiving copies of books and articles that contain photographs furnished by the National Archives. Such copies can be sent to:

National Archives and Records Administration
Still Picture Unit, Room 5360
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, Maryland 20740-6001

See also Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States


Notice Concerning Copyright

Some of the images in which you are interested may be copyrighted. Where obvious copyright or donor imposed restrictions apply, written releases from the copyright owners may be required before reproductions will be made. It is the user's responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances. Any use of these items is made at the researcher's or purchaser's own risk.

To find out about possible use restrictions on images found in the National Archives Catalog, type in the National Archives Identifier for the image in the keyword box, and refer to the Use Restrictions heading in the series description for these records.

Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions

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 specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

The National Archives reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Please e-mail or call the Still Picture Unit at (301) 837-0561 if you have additional questions about using NARA images in your publication.

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