Rights & Reproductions (Special Collections: Rights & Reproductions)


Smith College Special Collections is pleased to provide reproductions of our textual, visual and audio materials, when such reproductions will not damage the original or violate any restrictions on the materials. Pre-payment is required on all orders. A price quote will be provided prior to confirming your order.

Please see our statement on Copyright & Use before submitting your request. Visit our Fees & Payments page for information about reproduction costs, formats, and delivery methods. If you plan to publish or cite material from the Smith College Special Collections, please read the Permissions and Attribution pages.

How to Make a Request

To request reference scans, high resolution images, or digital copies of materials, email specialcollections@smith.edu identifying the collection materials you are most interested in. Be as specific as possible and include the following. 

Materials listed in the Finding Aids 

  1. Collection name
  2. Box number
  3. Folder number/title (where applicable)
  4. Item number/title (where applicable)
  5. Link to the finding aid
  6. Delivery format (PDF, high resolution image, etc.)
  7. Any additional description of the specific materials you are requesting

Materials listed in Discover Advanced

  1. Title
  2. Call number
  3. Page numbers
  4. Link to the catalog record
  5. Delivery format (PDF, high resolution image, etc.)
  6. Any additional description of the specific materials you are requesting

We do not currently have the capacity to digitize entire collections. Researchers are limited to 500 pages per year.

Providing incomplete information will further delay services. If you are unsure of what you may need access to, we would be happy to assist when we can. Please be advised that we cannot provide proxy researcher services at this time.

Please note, to preserve originals, we may not be able to digitize some materials. Requested materials will be evaluated by staff to determine their condition.

Digital Cameras

Non-flash photography of materials is encouraged during your research. Special Collections has two document cameras (see Document Camera Instructions for more information), two iPads, and speciality lighting available for researchers on a first come basis. There are no fees for use of personal or Smith College equipment. 

Fees & Payment

Please see Fees & Payment for costs and payment methods.

Copyright & Use: Intellectual Property Policies for Reproduction

A central part of our mission is to make our collections accessible and usable to researchers who visit our reading room and who discover our materials online.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to provide reproductions to researchers. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.

Your request to Smith College Special Collections to copy materials constitutes an agreement that you will not reproduce, transfer, distribute, broadcast, publicly display, offer for sale, or otherwise use or publish any material subject to copyright, or a portion thereof, in excess of fair use, as defined by copyright law, without the express permission of the copyright holder. It is your responsibility to identify the copyright owner and obtain permission before you publish or otherwise use the materials.

In general, the creator of the materials (such as an author, artist, and/or photographer) owns copyright. While Smith College Special Collections owns the physical materials in our care, we do not necessarily own the copyright, unless this has been transferred to us by the creator(s). Even in cases where the primary creator of a collection has transferred copyright, there may be third-party materials in that collection to which copyright was never transferred. Granting permission to publish materials exists solely between the researcher and copyright owner, often but not always, the creator.  

We will gladly share any information we do have about copyright holders in our collections. However, we are not able to do any additional research in regards to rights information and do not facilitate or execute requests for permission.

Resources to Start Investigating Intellectual Property Rights

The U.S. Copyright Office has provided information about How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work. When you cannot identify or locate the current copyright owner of a copyrighted work, the copyrighted material is sometimes called an “orphan work.” Columbia University Libraries and the Society of American Archivists have provided advice about documenting searches for copyright owners and potentially using orphan works.

Take Down Notice & Disclaimer

Take Down Notice

As an institution of higher education, Smith College values the rights to intellectual property. If you believe that there is something that should not be used because incorrect permission has been received, direct your inquiry to infosecurity@smith.edu or:

Ben Marsden, Information Security Director
Information Technology Services
Stoddard Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

We will give your request every consideration and determine the merit of your claim within two weeks of notice.


In receiving a reproduction from our holdings, you assume all responsibility for infringement of copyright or other rights in your use of the material. You must agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Smith College and its Trustees, officers, agents, and employees from and against any and all liabilities, losses, demand, penalties, costs, expenses, attorney's’ fees, lawsuits, fines, judgments, or causes of actions, including but not limited to claims relating to infringement of copyright, trademark, invasion of rights of privacy or publicity, or libel that arise either directly or indirectly from any use by the requestor of the images and/or materials provided by Smith College Special Collections.

You also must not use the name of Special Collections, Smith College Libraries, or Smith College in any manner which creates any false association between you and the image, materials, the Libraries, and/or Smith College, or that incorrectly implies any sponsorship or endorsement by the Libraries, Smith College, or any third party rights holder.