Permission to Use the Library's Materials

The University of Virginia Library is committed to supporting research, teaching, scholarship, publication, and artistic production involving use of materials from the Library's physical and digital collections. To remove barriers to such uses, it is not necessary to seek the Library's permission as the owner of a particular copy of a work to publish or otherwise use materials that the Library has made generally available online from its collections. The University's intent is for the use of these online materials to be free of charge in support of research, teaching, scholarship, and other legitimate purposes.

However, other copyright issues may affect your rights to reuse materials from the Library’s collections. Although the Library posts material online pursuant to its own rights and the rights of its users to view or access materials for education, research, and other non-commercial uses, it is the sole responsibility of the user of such materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to any further distribution or publication. If the content in question is under copyright, permission to publish may be sought from the owners of the rights, typically the creator or the heirs to his or her estate. Permission is not required, however, if the use is covered by the principle of fair use or by another limitation or exception to copyright. Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials.

The Library sometimes includes a Rights Statement (such as “InC – In Copyright”) or a Creative Commons license (such as “CC-BY”) in the catalog information for items in its collections. You can learn more about rights statements at, and about Creative Commons licenses at While we hope this information is useful to you, the Library makes no warranties about the items that carry license or rights information and cannot guarantee the accuracy of any Rights Statement or Creative Commons license. You are responsible for your own use.

Any use of content made publicly available is subject to the user or recipient's agreement to indemnify and hold harmless the University of Virginia, its officers, employees and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions and expenses. By your use of these materials, you agree to these responsibilities, including the noted legal protections of the University of Virginia.

If questions arise concerning the small number of collections for which the University of Virginia does own copyright (generally noted in the catalog records or online guides) or for materials in the University Archives, please contact Special Collections.

Further, some library donors have placed restrictions on the use of materials that must be honored. Such restrictions are generally noted in the catalog records or online guides to Special Collections materials, and Library staff will provide informational assistance in these cases.

The University of Virginia Library should always be cited as the source of materials in its collections when those materials are published or otherwise distributed. This helps the Library and follow-on researchers locate these materials in our collections. Citation should be consistent with reasonable citation practices in the field.

More about Copyright and Use of Library Materials