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Archives and Special Collections: Copyright and Use of Photographs, Images and Videos

The images in our collection are supplied to you subject to the following terms and conditions:

Other than where permitted, no part of the content maybe sold, resold, licensed, transferred, copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner or in any media to any person without the prior written consent of Library Services.

Library Services will inform you of any risks inherent in making any content available to the public through exhibitions, on the Internet, in any kind of printed document (including but not limited to books, pamphlets, posters. etc.), or in any other way. Thereafter any risk is the responsibility of the individual or department making the material available to the public.

Library Services does not warrant that the sharing of content, including Public Domain or Creative Commons content, will not infringe upon the rights of third parties. It is the requester's responsibility to determine and follow copyright and other use conditions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of the content.

The requester agrees to abide by all copyright notices, licence conditions, retrictions attached to the content and agree not to remove or alter any notices, conditions, forms of identification, or dedications.

Third party copyright

Library Services will make every reasonable effort to locate, contact and acknowledge rights holders and to correctly apply terms and conditions to content. In the event that any content infringes your rights or the rights of any third parties, or content is not properly identified or acknowledged we would like to hear from you, or any third parties, so we may make any necessary alterations or remoce the content at the earliest opportunity.

If any living person is clearly recognisable in any photograph or other visual media, they have the right to request that it is taken down. Please see our Takedown Policy for further information.

Library Services will indicate any works provided to you that are Orphan Works. A search will need to take place to try and trace any rightsholder. Either Library Services will carry out the search, or will ask you to; in the latter case, guidance will be provided on this. A record must be kept of this search so that we can prove that efforts were made to locate a rightsholder.

  • Orphan works are works where the rightsholder is not known. Many of the photographs in the City Archive are Orphan Works.
  • According to current UK law, such works are protected by copyright until 2039.
  • Although such works can be made available to the public, there is an element of risk in doing so, in case a rightsholder comes forward and asks for compensation.
  • An Orphan Works Licence can be obtained, subject to certain confitions, to allow safe use of the material. A fee is payable for this. Guidance on Orphan Works is published by the Intellectual Property Office.

Please note that if a genuine rightsholder comes forward, they are entitled to request a fee for use of the work. The amount can be open to negotiation, but will need to be paid by the requester.

Associated fees

Any fees related to an application for an Orphan Works licence (to use an image where the copyright holder is not known) will be the requestor's responsibility.

Reuse of material

The requestor may reuse an image for the requested purpose only, for further use an additional request should be made.

Library Services asks that anyone reusing digital images from these collections apply the following principles:

  • Respect the creators - ensure traditional cultural expressions and all ethical concerns in the use of the material are considered, and any information relating to the creator is clear and accurate.
  • Any adaptations made to an image should not be attributed to the original creator and should not be derogatory to the originating cultures or communities.
  • Please credit the source of the material - as "reproduced with permission of City, University of London Archive".

Related documents

Archives and Special Collections: Collection Development Policy

Archives and Special Collections: Access to Collections

Archives and Special Collections: Handling Guidelines

Archives and Special Collections: Takedown Policy

Contact details

If you have any general questions or information relating to content please contact [email protected].

If you have specific questions or information about use of images or other content please contct [email protected].

Copyright Librarian, reviewed November 2022