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Using Images in Teaching, Research and Publication

A guide to resources for the legal and ethical use of images in teaching and publications at the University

Copyright and images

Copyright Basics (Princeton University)

Copyright guides from other universities:


Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries: (Association of Research Libraries)

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts: (College Art Association)

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyright: (Visual Resources Association)

How to find out if something is protected by copyright

Selected copyright calculators: (general public domain chart)  (Europeana copyright tools and resources)

Copyright Clearance Center

Digital Images Rights Computator (Visual Resources Association)

Copyright and unpublished materials

I want to use material from the archives. What do I need to know? (Society of American Archivists)

How to request permissions

If you've determined that the image you want to use is likely protected by copyright, your next step is to identify the rights holder and ask for permission to use the image.​ has some suggestions on where to start.

ProQuest's Copyright Guide (for grad students submitting their dissertations) includes a sample permission letter.

Your publisher will specify the image format and resolution they require. Often it is best to pay for a publication-quality image supplied by the rights holder or taken by a professional photographer.

For grad students: Images and your dissertation