The Bentley Historical Library will be closed for the day on Memorial Day – May 27, 2024

 

Permissions Policies

The Bentley Historical Library encourages and supports research, teaching, and scholarship to advance global knowledge and understanding.

Public Domain Materials

One way the Library facilitates scholarship and learning is by making some public domain materials available for download without having to obtain permission (not all Bentley material is in the public domain).

While materials subject to this policy may lack U.S. copyright protection, this does not mean that other federal or state laws (e.g. privacy and publicity rights) do not apply to their use and distribution. It is the researcher’s responsibility to assess permissible uses under all other laws and conditions.

Researchers are required to attribute the Bentley Historical Library as the materials’ source to support future discovery as follows or in an equivalent format:

Item description, HS/BL# if available, photographer’s name, Folder/Volume Title, Box Number, Collection Title, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

 

Publishing Quotations, Excerpts, or Images

Researchers seeking to quote from or otherwise reproduce any Library collection materials in researchers’ own publications or other public displays do not need copyright permission for instances that constitute “fair use” under copyright law (Fair Use is described further below with links to resources).

Please use the following chart to determine whether you must obtain copyright permission from the rights holder (which may be the University of Michigan) to publish content from the Library’s collections. Copyright for collections at the Bentley may have been retained by the donor. For collections where copyright was transferred to the University of Michigan, you will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to publish Bentley material. The Bentley Library does not sign third-party forms. To determine if the university holds the copyright to a collection, please consult the Use & Permissions note in the “Using These Materials” section of the collection’s finding aid or the “Terms of Use” note in the online library catalog record.

This chart applies to copyright permissions only and does not include due diligence that researchers must conduct regarding other legal restrictions that may apply to the materials’ use and distribution (e.g. privacy and publicity rights; contract, donor and other restrictions). It is the researcher’s responsibility to assess permissible uses under all laws and conditions.

 

Copyright Status of Item Permission Requirement 
Work is in the public domain No permission to publish is needed or required.
U-M Regents own copyright No permission, forms, or letter needed or required to publish material. To determine if the university holds the copyright to a collection, please consult the “Using These Materials” section of the finding aid.
Third party owns copyright No permission from U-M required or provided. Copyright permission is required from third-party copyright holder if researcher determines that the intended use exceeds fair use. Certain donors may be contacted through the Bentley; please email bentley.ref@umich.edu to enquire.

 

Researcher Responsibilities

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any materials they may wish to use, making fair use determinations, investigating the owner(s) of the copyright and, where necessary according to the above chart, obtaining permission for the intended use.

Where relevant, please consult the Use & Permissions note in the “Using These Materials” section of the collection’s finding aid for general information about rights and restrictions.

For Bentley Image Bank images, please refer to each image’s Rights and Permissions information and the Bentley Image Bank Rights and Permissions Policy. When you see the note: “This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,” you do not need formal permission from us, but you are required to include the proper citation in your work.

The Library has no legal authority over materials for which a third party holds copyright. Researchers must contact the copyright holder or copyright holder’s estate—rather than the Library—to request permission if the intended use will exceed fair use. Certain donors may be contacted through the Bentley. Please email bentley.ref@umich.edu to ask.

 

Guidance on Determining Copyright Status & Locating Copyright Holders

Public Domain. Public domain refers to works for which copyright protections have expired, or works that were ineligible for protection from the start. Public domain works are open for use with no permission needed. The Library will not make public domain determinations for researchers. For assistance in determining whether a work is in the public domain, please use U-M Library Copyright basics & FAQ.

For more detailed inquiries, we recommend using:

Finding Copyright Holders. For help locating third-party copyright holder(s), the following resources may assist your investigation:

  • WATCH File: The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) is a database containing primarily the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.
  • U.S. Copyright Office: You can search a public database at the U.S. Copyright Office for copyright information on all works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office after January 1, 1978.

Determining Whether Your Intended Use is Fair Use. A researcher does not need a copyright holder’s permission to publish when the intended use is “fair use” because United States copyright law contains a limited exception for certain uses made for teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. It is the researcher’s responsibility to determine whether the intended use is a fair use. The Bentley Historical Library cannot make a fair use determination for you. For guidelines on what uses qualify for the fair use exception, please see:

Other Laws & Restrictions. Please keep in mind that there are several laws and policies outside of copyright that also affect publication permission.

      • Donor Gift Agreements: Requests to publish archival and other special collections materials stewarded by the Library may be subject to donor gift agreement limitations. The Library reserves all rights to grant and deny permission to publish based on these limitations.
      • Privacy & Publicity Rights: In addition, a researcher must also comply with applicable federal and state privacy and publicity laws when publishing certain materials. While copyright laws protect the copyright owner’s property rights in the work, privacy and publicity laws protect the interests of the individuals who are the subject of the work. In general, a person’s right to privacy ends with his or her death, but publicity rights associated with the commercial value of that person’s name, image, or likeness may continue after death. It is a researcher’s sole responsibility for addressing issues of privacy and publicity rights when publishing content from Library materials. For more information on privacy & publicity laws and rights, see the Digital Media Law Project page.

Crediting the Bentley Historical Library

Whenever using, quoting, or publishing any materials from the Library’s collections, scholarly conventions require full source citation.

The Library suggests the following format, or an equivalent format conforming to discipline-specific citation standards:

Item description, HS/BL# if available, photographer’s name, Folder/Volume Title, Box Number, Collection Title, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Citing Bentley Materials

The purpose of a citation is to identify clearly a source so that another researcher may locate it. All citations should include some basic information: item description, date, box number, collection title, and Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Below are some helpful citation examples. If you have any questions, the Reference staff will be glad to provide assistance.

Citing a Letter:
Frank Murphy to Prentiss W. Brown, 2 November 1935, Box 9, Prentiss W. Brown Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing a Diary:
Rudy Ludwig diary, 12 March 1946, Box 3, Ludwig Family Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing a Particular Volume:
Account Book, 1864-1865, Box 1, German Christian Agricultural and Benevolent Society of Ora Labora Records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing a Microfilm Edition of Originals:
Alphadelphia Association Reports of the General Council, 1845, microfilm edition, reel 1. Microfilm and originals at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing University Publications:
University of Michigan Department of Biology, Gnat’s Eye Gnus Newsletter, Vol. 91-92, No. 45 (8 September 1922), p. 2, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing Photographs:
Minimum citation for publication and display purposes: Josephine Gomon Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Full Citation: Eleanor Roosevelt, Detroit, 1935; HS11371, Folder “Eleanor Roosevelt Visit to Detroit, 1935,” Box 10, Josephine Gomon Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Citing a Website:
“Seeking a Pleasant Peninsula: A Century of Travel and Vacationing in Michigan.,” Exhibit, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. https://bentley.umich.edu/exhibits/vac/ (retrieved 4 March 2011).