Duplication, AV Digitization & Permissions

Print illustration of a rare printing press

Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC) is committed to supporting research, teaching, and learning through use of its collections. Researchers may request low-resolution digital images of TUSC’s materials for private study, scholarship, and research.

TUSC allows unlimited use of personal cameras (without flash) in the reading room. Use of personal cameras is contingent on the physical condition of materials, copyright law, and donor restrictions on use. Users interested in acquiring high resolution, publishable images should consult the policies below, or contact specialcollections@tulane.edu for more information. 

Tulane University librarians have created a guide to DIY tools and resources for digitizing and organizing your archival research before, during, and after your visit to Tulane University Special Collections.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the 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 reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a reproduction order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

  • In majority of cases TUSC does not hold copyright to the materials under its stewardship. As such, TUSC cannot grant nor deny permission to quote or publish from materials to which TUSC cannot asserts unambiguous copyright. For more information about U.S copyright, please visit the U.S Copyright Office.
  • TUSC researchers assume all responsibility for determining whether the intended use of materials is fair, obtaining any permissions relating to copyright, privacy, publicity, trademark, or any other rights are necessary for an intended use, for obtaining all required permissions from other copyright holders, executors, or assigns and for responding to any claims that may arise because of unauthorized use of protected materials.
  • Copyright in an unpublished work lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years. If the author/creator (or the creator's death date) is unknown, or if the author is a corporate body, the then term is 120 years from the creation date of the work. For more information about copyright of unpublished materials see Society of American Archivists.
  • If the copyright cannot be easily determined, or the copyright holder easily located, the work in question becomes orphaned work. Society of American Archivists provides guidelines and strategies for researching orphaned works and their copyright holders.

TUSC cannot provide legal advice. We recommend all users consult with appropriate copyright specialists regarding use and copyright status of their particular materials.

  • Materials in public domain are not protected by copyright or other intellectual property laws.
  • TUSC welcomes researchers to make use of published materials in the collections that are in the public domain. TUSC does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of materials in the public domain, nor does it charge permission or use fees for these materials.
  • Cornell University's Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States Chart may help you identify materials in the public domain in the United States.
  • TUSC does not require that researchers request permission to quote or publish images of materials if the intended use qualifies as fair use.
  • According to U.S. Copyright Office, “Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances.”  For guidelines on the fair use exception, please refer to the Fair Use Index.
  • The Fair Use checklist, provided by Cornell University Libraries may help you determine the limits of fair use when using materials protected by copyright.
  • If the intended use of protected materials is for commercial or any purpose other than fair use as defined by law, TUSC researchers must request and receive prior written permission from the copyright holder. To learn more about third party permissions and hot to clear them, please check out the permissions resources created by Cornell University. 
  • TUSC is a copyright holder of works and collections under its stewardship in only a few special cases listed below. Researchers must obtain permission/licensing agreement and pay licensing fees (see: Fees) for commercial use or any other use that is not fair use as defined by law by writing to specialcollections@tulane.edu. Permission will be granted on case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of TUSC.
  • TUSC is the copyright holder of works by the following creators (i.e the IP rights have been transferred to Tulane University Special Collections by the creators)
    •  HJA-033 Hogan Archive Oral History Collection
    •  HJA-098 Ralston Crawford Jazz Photography Collection
    • HJA-093 The Legend of the Dew Drop Inn documentary Interviews by Juila Dorn
    • HJA-092 Lynn Abbott Collection (interviews only)
  • These archival collections may include the work of other writers, artists, photographers, and individuals for whom TUSC does not own copyright. Researchers must contact the appropriate copyright holder for permission to use those materials.
Duplication (scans) and AV Digitization Request Policy
  • TUSC may not be able to make copies of some materials due to donor restrictions, copyright issues, preservation concerns, or physical size.
  • Because preservation of materials is of paramount concern, TUSC reserves the right to decline a patron’s request to scan or reformat materials, or to limit the amount of material that can be safely scanned or reformatted (digitized).
  • In some cases, the scale of a reproduction request may impact our ability to provide effective and equitable service to all researchers. TUSC may impose a total limit on reproductions. Please contact specialcollections@tulane.edu for more information.
  • All AV materials require reformatting prior to access. Previously digitized AV materials and collections are accessible via Tulane University Digital Library.
    • Because of copyright restrictions, TUSC does not make copies of materials from its commercially recorded sound collections.
    • TUSC contracts with several professional vendors to facilitate patron requested digitization of our audiovisual materials. Patrons requesting audiovisual digitization are responsible for covering all costs associated with this vendor provided service (labor and shipping).
    • TUSC will not digitize select portions of a larger analog work—the entire item must be digitized.
  • All requests will be delivered as .jpeg or .tiff  and as .mp3 or .mp4 for AV materials via email or Dropbox link.
  • To request a scan of an item, start by completing the TUSC Scanning Request Form.
  • To request digitization of AV materials, start by completing TUSC AV Digitization Form. 
  • Once your order is received, staff will contact you if more information is needed, and send an invoice to you with instructions on how to pay for your order. 
  • TUSC accepts payments via Visa or MasterCard. Checks or cash are not accepted. You can make a payment here.
  • Please allow four to six weeks for processing your order after payment is complete. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
  • All requests will be delivered as .jpeg or .tiff  and as .mp3 or .mp4 for AV materials via email or Dropbox link.
Service Fee
Reference quality scans (200-300 dpi, low resolution) Free of charge for the first 50 pages, per fiscal year, July 1 to June 30. Orders over 50 pages are done at the rate of $25/ hour. TUSC reserves the right to limit scanning to no more than 3 hours per order.
High resolution scans (600 dpi/ TIFF) $10 per file or free if previously digitized.
Oversized scans $20 per item/file
AV materials  Vendor costs. See  AV Digitization Request Form for details. 

TUSC does charge licensing fees and requires permissions/licensing agreements for the following commercial use of the materials to which TUSC holds unambiguous copyright.

Licensing fees are charged for the following uses:

  • Commercial display in public spaces (office, stores, restaurants, lobbies, hotels)
  •  Exhibitions
  •  Book publications (commercial publishers)
  • Newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or corporate publications
  • Television broadcast
  • Advertising, merchandising
  • Website, social media
  • CD/ROM, video, and software

Licensing fees are not charged for the following use:

  • Personal, educational, governmental, non-profit use
  • Personal use (reference purpose, home display)
  • Exhibitions (non-profit museums, libraries, historical societies)
  • Academic and scholarly publications (theses, dissertations, scholarly journals, classroom use by students/instructors, University Press publications, or textbooks)
  • Television broadcast (public TV and non-profit)
  • Website, social media (personal, non-profit)
  • Cd/Rom, Video, Software (non-profit)

To request permission/licensing and our fee structure for still images or sound or video files, please contact specialcollections@tulane.edu.

TUSC will not sign third-party licenses or forms relating to copyright permission, including those supplied to authors by their publisher.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.


Citation formats (or credits) may vary according to the conventions of the field or discipline.

We recommend the following format: [Item description], [Collection title], [Identifier number], Tulane University Special Collections, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 

example: 500 Club, Ralston Crawford Collection of Jazz Photography, HJA-098 Tulane University Special Collections, New Orleans, LA

For shorter credits please use: [Collection title], Tulane University Special Collections

example: Alan Robinson Papers, Tulane University Special Collections