All material on the Minnesota Historical Society World Wide Web Pages is copyrighted by the Minnesota Historical Society unless otherwise indicated. It is for the personal use of students, scholars, and the public. Copying or redistribution for commercial gain without permission of the Minnesota Historical Society is prohibited.

The nature of historical archival collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult to determine. Whenever possible, the Minnesota Historical Society provides information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the catalog records, finding aids, and donor records. The Society provides such information as a service to aid patrons in determining the appropriate use of an item, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the patron.

Images reproduced from the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society are for viewing and personal use only. Permission for commercial use or any publication, manipulation, display or distribution is only granted by written application to the Minnesota Historical Society.

Permission and license to use photographic reproductions is granted via a Request for Permission form and may involve a use fee for commercial use.

Conditions of Use When Receiving Written Permission from the Minnesota Historical Society

  • Credit must be given to the Minnesota Historical Society and the creator of the work, if known.

  • The format of the credit line is indicated on the permission form. Credit lines must appear with the image or on a credit page indicating the page number and location on the page for each work. Films, videotapes and slide shows may use a credit section at the beginning or end to give credit to the Minnesota Historical Society. For web site use, credit should appear either next to or directly below the image.

  • Permission to reproduce, publish, broadcast or display a Society photograph must be requested in writing on this form. The request should include the title, author, publishing year, name of publishing company or organization responsible, and the catalog number, locator or negative number of the work. Possession of a Society photograph does not constitute permission to use it.

  • In some cases the Society will request that a copy of the publication be donated to the Society.

  • If the copyright is still in effect, the publisher must seek permission from the creator of the work or his/her heirs. The Minnesota Historical Society will provide the creator’s name, if known.

  • Permission is for one-time use only. The Society retains all rights to the works and they must not be used for any purpose other than that listed on this permission form.
    Photographs may be cropped to suit design and layout, but they may not be altered or drawn upon so that they look in any way different from the way they appear in the historical collection.

  • The Society reserves the right to refuse to grant permission and/or provide photograph reproduction services to publishers and individuals who have not complied with its policies.

  • The Minnesota Historical Society reserves the right to decline to reproduce fragile items or for inappropriate use.

  • Commercial users (for-profit corporations or individuals) must pay the use fee in advance of receiving the duly signed permission form.

  • Due to the Federal Copyright Law, Copy Services is not able to make photographic prints of photographs from books published less than 100 years ago.

Permission Can be Granted for the Following Types of Use:

  • Advertising
  • Book Publishing (trade books, text books, self-published books)
  • Broadcast (television, radio)
  • Brochure or Pamphlet
  • Decorative Display
  • Exhibit
  • Magazine or Journal
  • Newspaper
  • Slide Show
  • Videotape or Videodisc
  • Web Site