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All patrons requesting duplication of known items in the collections of the University Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison must complete a Duplication Request Form and register for an Archives and Special Collections Account. If you have not yet identified specific materials to request – for example, you only have a person or subject in mind – please first contact University Archives staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help you find specific materials. We cannot guarantee that we are able to produce copies of everything in our collections and may decline requests as appropriate. Patrons may need to cover the cost of digitization if there are any, for example if we must use an outside vendor to digitize a film. Some of our images are available to freely download from our online collection; you are still responsible for following all laws pertaining to your use and obtaining permissions if needed.
If you just need copyright information to determine if you can use an item, no need to fill in a request form, simply contact us by email and we’ll provide what information we can. Note that we do not own rights to all of the content in our collections. Please see Copyright and Use Information section below for additional information.
Please note this policy applies to University Archives and Records Management materials only. Please contact the relevant other library unit or the Wisconsin Historical Society for their specific duplication policies.
Types of Duplication and Fees
Please note there are typically no duplication fees except in cases where Archives must outsource digitization of materials or perhaps for very large requests. In these cases, we may ask patrons to cover any costs of outsourcing. Please note some duplication exceptions may apply due to copyright, trademark, privacy, or publicity rights. University Archives staff reserves the right to waive costs on a case by case basis. Copies of all materials in every format are provided for personal research use only. For use beyond that, you are responsible for following all laws pertaining to your use of the materials.
As stated above, we cannot guarantee that we are able to produce copies of everything in our collections and may decline requests as necessary.
Personal Cameras and Self-Service
Researchers may use personal cameras to photograph collection material; flash photography is prohibited. Consult the Archives staff prior to using video equipment. The Archives copier and scanners are self-service and free of charge. Please check with Archives staff before placing materials on the equipment. Archives staff may prohibit or limit copying due to the condition of the material. Some of the Archives’ images are available to freely download from our online collection. Researchers are solely responsible for conforming with laws of libel, privacy, intellectual property, and copyright (including fair use) which may be involved in the copy and use of manuscripts, archival collections, and other materials.
PDF copies of collection materials completed by Archives staff are free up to 25 pages (once per month limit). Requests for copies beyond 25 pages are handled on a case by case basis. Depending on the request, we may provide requestor a list of local researchers that are available for hire. Note these researchers are independent and have no connection to the Archives. Any business arrangements are to be conducted directly with them.
Digital Image Scans
Archives staff can provide digital scans of items in our collections. Note some of the Archives’ images are available to freely download on your own from our online collection; you are still responsible for following copyright laws and obtaining permissions if needed. Scanning orders for oversize or fragile materials may take additional time to complete.
We have the ability to transfer some of our audio/video formats. As noted above, for those that are too fragile or that we are unable to transfer in-house, we may have to outsource and the requestor will be responsible for the charges set by the vendor.
Copyright and Use Information
Please see the Libraries Copyright Statement. Requests to copy and obtaining reproductions of Archives material constitute an agreement that you assume all responsibility for determining whether any permissions are required for the use of material including but not limited to copyright, privacy, and publicity and acquiring those needed permissions. Note there may be materials or use cases that do not require permissions to use, for example for materials in the public domain or if you can make a fair use case. For more information on copyright basics, including a primer on How to Use Others’ Materials and fair use, please visit the Libraries’ Copyright Resources page or the Office of Legal Affairs’s FAQ on copyright law.
Please note that the Archives does not own the rights to all of the materials in our collections and/or do not know the copyright status of materials in our collections. Certain images or materials may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the UW. For example, copyright may belong to the photographer, filmmaker, an estate, or assignee, and some materials may fall into the public domain. You are solely responsible for determining the rights status of these materials and obtaining appropriate permissions. The UW cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute these materials. UW Archives staff reserves the right to limit the number of copies made; to restrict the use of rare and valuable items; and to deny a request because of copyright regulations, privacy rights, donor-imposed regulations, or other rights related issues.
The Archives staff will provide the requestor with as much information about the copyright status and restrictions for particular collections as is known. For example, copyrights to the campus newspaper, the Daily Cardinal, including its images remain with the Daily Cardinal Media Corp. and/or the individual photographer. To the extent that we provide available information, the Archives does not warranty the accuracy of such information and shall not be responsible for any inaccurate information and will not facilitate or execute requests for permission.
In general, UW Archives employs a high risk tolerance when it comes to duplication requests. UW Archives staff err on the side of making content in our collections available to a wide audience, though there may be high risk scenarios where we restrict copying or refrain from providing information on rights. Some examples of high risk include: high profile or potentially controversial faculty/staff collections; athletes; Chancellors and Presidents papers; student related records; and any other records that may include private/sensitive information.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives gives no exclusive rights to any publisher or author, makes no warranties or representations, and assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any claims against those reproducing materials or against the University of Wisconsin by the creator of said material, their agent, estate or any other party in connection with the reproduction of materials held by the Archives.
Those wishing to reproduce and/or publish materials must agree to indemnify the University of Wisconsin and hold it harmless against any and all such claims, including copyright infringement claims, royalty or fee demands and/or actions, including attorney fees and all other cost thereof, arising as a result of their reproduction of materials from the Archives collections.
Citation is important to document and include when working with archival collections. Because archivists strive to preserve the unique order of collections when they are donated, citing archival sources varies by institution. To facilitate your work, we suggest you refer to our citation guidelines online. Please contact the Archives staff if you have any questions!