The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) makes reasonable attempts to clarify copyright status of materials under its care. For most collections, however, SCUA cannot claim copyright for every individual item: a donor may transfer intellectual property to letters he or she has written, for instance, but this transfer does not extend to letters received by that donor or to materials written by other persons.
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 the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, and permission will be granted only after SCUA has received a properly completed permission form signed by the requester and payment for any fees that apply.
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 request for permission to publish form and print two copies.
- Complete both copies of the form, including your 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 the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.
- 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 information ]. [ 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. In most cases, fees apply only to use of graphic materials, not textual, and in all cases, proper attribution is required.