Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

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Copyright Issues


Determining Copyrights

The nature of historical, archival and manuscript collections often make it difficult to determine the exact copyright status of an item. There are many issues related to copyright. There are several resources on the Internet that can help you to determine the copyright status of the materials in your collections:

Library Digitization Projects and Copyright
By Mary Minow, JD, A.M.L.S. This is an extensive site that can assist you in determining when a work passes into the public domain.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
By Peter B. Hirtle, Cornell University. A chart listing the dates for copyright and public domain.


Copyright Statement

All items available through or included in the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections (IHDC) may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Use of some items may also be subject to additional restrictions imposed by the copyright owner and/or the contributing institution. Transmission, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use under the copyright laws generally requires written permission of the copyright owners. Users must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

Contributing institutions are those who make digital content available through the IHDC. These institutions may or may not own the digital and/or original materials and may or may not own the copyright to the materials. Users have an obligation to determine and satisfy any copyright or other use restrictions when copying, publishing, or otherwise distributing or using materials available through or included in the IHDC.

Please contact the contributing institution for information regarding copyright status of a particular digital item.

The contributing institutions are eager to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified so that accurate information may be provided to users.

Deed of Gift -agreement between the donor and the repository that transfers ownership of and legal rights to the donated materials.

A Guide to Deeds of Gift by Society of Amercian Archivists. 

Des Moines Public Library Deed of Gift