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Photography and Reproductions

Permission to Publish and Reproduce Center Resources

General Principle

The Center for the History of Medicine’s (“Center”) mission is to enable the history of medicine to inform contemporary medicine and deepen the understanding of the society in which medicine is embedded. Making Center resources freely available for publication and use supports this mission, as well as those of the Harvard Library and the Boston Medical Library, which seek to advance scholarship and teaching by committing itself to the creation, application, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge.

Publication Policy Statement

This policy for the publication and use of Center resources applies to the subsidiary collections that constitute the Center including, but not limited to, the Harvard Medical Library (HML), the Boston Medical Library (BML), and the Warren Anatomical Museum (WAM) as embedded within the Center. Whenever possible, the Center will follow the spirit and practices outlined in the Harvard Library’s “Harvard Library Policy on Access to Digital Reproductions of Works in the Public Domain."

For works over which the Center does not hold or does not wish to assert copyright

For works in the public domain, works for which copyright is held by a third party, or works with known HML, BML, and WAM rights that will not be invoked, the Center will assert no copyright, will charge no publication or usage fees, and will not grant or deny permission to publish. This policy similarly applies to digital reproductions made openly available on Harvard Library or Center web pages, digital content platforms (such as OnView), blogs, and social media.

For works over which the Center holds and exercises copyright

For HML, BML, and WAM works over which the Center asserts its known copyright, public services staff will use the Office of General Counsel-approved Permission to Publish form. Works over which the Center may assert copyright include digital photographs of three-dimensional objects. Permission to publish will only be granted for specific uses; no third party use is permitted and credit lines are required. No publication or usage fees will be charged.

This policy is subject to the explanations and exclusions below:

  • As a general rule, publication or usage fees will not be assessed by the Center for any provided digital or physical reproduction.
  • Works for which the copyright is not explicitly known to be held exclusively by the President and Fellows of Harvard College or the BML may be protected by third-party copyright, publication rights, artist’s rights, or related interests that are not owned by Harvard University. It is incumbent on the user to identify, define, and seek the permission of these other stakeholders. The user bears the sole responsibility for publishing or otherwise disseminating content at his or her own risk. The Center does not provide research assistance for determining third-party rights.
  • The absence of explicit information on copyright is no guarantee that a work is in the public domain either in the U.S. or abroad. Users are solely responsible for making independent legal assessments of an item's status in the arena in which it is to be used.
  • For digital surrogates provided by the Center or Harvard Library via electronic resources or public services staff, the Center generally does not assert copyright on such reproductions, but does not relinquish any copyright it may hold on these works or their secondary representations.
  • Use of Center resources does not suggest or imply that the Center or Harvard Library endorses, approves of, or participated in such projects. Harvard's name should not be used in the title or the name of the usage.
  • In general, the suggested credit lines to be used for Center collections are as follows, as appropriate:

o Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

o Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

o Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

  • In addition to the above credit lines, certain collections or works may have additional citation information; in such cases, additional credit line information will be provided.
  • As a general rule, with the exception of text books, commercial use of works with known and exclusive Center copyright will not be approved. The Center cannot approve or deny commercial use for surrogates of works in the public domain or for works in which it does not assert copyright.

Reproduction Policy Statement

This policy for the creation of digital and print reproductions applies to the subsidiary collections that constitute the Center, including but not limited to, the Harvard Medical Library (HML), the Boston Medical Library (BML), and the Warren Anatomical Museum (WAM) as embedded within the Center. Whenever possible the Center will follow the spirit and practice outlined in the Harvard Library’s “Harvard Library Policy on Access to Digital Reproductions of Works in the Public Domain."

This policy is subject to the explanations and exclusions stated in the above Publication Policy Statement and with the following additional details:

  • At the discretion of public services staff, the Center will embed source metadata in certain digital images provided to patrons.
  • Reproduction fees may be charged at the discretion of the Center public services staff for any item without a viable digital surrogate. Charges vary depending on the nature of the request and may require professional studio photography, item transportation, and/or other associated fees for reproductions from Harvard Imaging Services or another vendor.
  • Unless specifically approved, all digital surrogates of three-dimensional objects must be taken by Center staff or a Center-approved vendor as a work for hire. No third party photography is allowed without approval.

Third party photography

  • For requests involving HML, BML, and WAM object material, approved third party photography must provide reference images to the appropriate Center collection. Users must sign the Center’s Reproduction and Use of Images form.
  • Personal photography of works using a digital camera may be permitted under certain circumstances in the Center’s Holmes Hall Reading Room. Patrons can consult with public services staff in advance of their research visit regarding the Reading Room photography policy. Such personal photography requires that a Digital Photography Permission form be completed and signed by the patron.
  • Unless human remains are present, limited personal photography is permitted in the Countway Library 1st floor, L1, L2, and the Tosteson Medical Education Center exhibit spaces. As human remains are displayed throughout the Warren Anatomical Exhibition Gallery on the Countway Library 5th floor, no personal photography is permitted at any time. No flash photography or tripods are allowed in any of the exhibition spaces at any time. Professional photography and all video recording requests must be approved in advance by appropriate public services staff.