The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) makes reasonable attempts to clarify the copyright status of materials under its care, but cannot claim copyright for every individual item: even if a donor has transferred intellectual property to the letters she has written, for example, she cannot transfer copyright to letters written by others. When it comes to letters received by the donor — half or more of most collections — copyright remains with the writer.
Researchers are legally obligated to ensure their full compliance with the laws pertaining to copyright and intellectual property and must obtain written permission from all interested parties. By itself, permission to examine or duplicate materials held by SCUA does not constitute authorization to publish those materials. A separate written request for permission to publish must be made in advance to SCUA, and permission will be granted only after SCUA has received a properly completed permission form signed by the requester, along with payment for any applicable fees.
An approval of permission to publish from SCUA does not imply that all copyright demands have been met. The University of Massachusetts Amherst assumes no responsibility for infringement of copyright held by others: full responsibility for infringement is assumed by the individual requesting permission to publish.
How do I request permission?
- Download the form for requesting permission to publish and print two copies.
- Complete both copies of the form, including your full name and address, a complete listing of the material to be published, and the title, place, and expected date of publication.
- Sign and date both copies of the form and submit both to SCUA.
- ALL requests for permission must be accompanied by a cover letter providing information on the nature of the publication (including print run when appropriate), and acknowledging that use fees may apply.
- Permission to publish is granted for one-time, non-exclusive, world-wide rights, solely for the project specified in the agreement and in the medium indicated. Permission is granted for the life of the project.
Citation of material
Citations should take the form:
[Item details ]. [ Collection name ] ( [Call number] ), Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.
Fees for publication
SCUA reserves the right to assess a modest fee for use of materials under its care. Proper attribution is required.