Publishing National Archives Photos
Generally, copies of photographic records held by the National Archives may be published without special permission or additional fees. The National Archives 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 small percentage of photographs in 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 known about said status. 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.
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 for information cite credits and captions that appear in published works, the inclusion of a photo number in hard copy and electronic publications is of great assistance to both us and the public.
Examples of preferred credit lines are as follows:
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)
If using a large number of our images, the National Archives will appreciate receiving copies of publications that contain our photographs. Such copies can be sent to the Still Picture Branch or the Library, National Archives and Records Administration.
National Archives and Records Administration
Still Picture Unit, Room 5360
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, Maryland 20740-6001
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.