Copyright & Permission to Publish


The University of Wisconsin Libraries generally do not own the copyrights to materials in their print and electronic collections. Consistent with their public university mission, the Libraries encourage the use of content in these collections for study, research, and teaching.

Most works published after 1923 are protected by U. S. and international copyright laws. The publications of the United States government are not copyrightable and may be freely copied and/or re-published.

Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law.

Copyright in the compilation, electronic format, and descriptive material for the digital collections created by the University of Wisconsin Libraries is retained by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Copyrights for individual items and images in the UW Digital Collections may be owned by other individuals, publishers, or institutions.

If the text or image is under copyright, it is the patron’s obligation, prior to publication or distribution, to determine and satisfy copyright requirements, or other use restrictions, from the owners of the rights. Copyright holders or owning institutions may charge permission fees.

Unless otherwise noted, it is not necessary to seek the Libraries’ permission to publish texts or images unless the University of Wisconsin is identified as the copyright holder for the original.

If the University of Wisconsin, or the University of Wisconsin, Board of Regents, is identified as the owner of the copyright, permissions may be granted by first contacting the UW Digital Collections Center. Curators have the authority to waive or negotiate fees.

The Libraries will require that proper attribution be given in each instance of use and will supply preferred attribution wording.

The Libraries request a copy of any publication in a physical format (print, CD/DVD, etc.) It should be sent to:

University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center
431 Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Obtaining copies

Although the UW Digital Collections Center does not charge use/permission fees, fees are charged for reproduction, reformatting, and retrieval of images.

Retrieval Fees

  • First scanned item retrieved – $15 per image
  • Subsequent scanned items retrieved – $3 per image

Reproduction Fees

Items to be scanned:

  • Persons affiliated with UW System – $15 per image
  • Persons not affiliated with UW System – $25 per image