Rights & Reproductions

Until further notice, we cannot fulfill any rights and reproductions requests.


The Boston Athenaeum makes digital copies of works available in accordance with 17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use, which authorizes the use of works protected by copyright without permission for “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship or research.” Usage, transmission, downloading, or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by Fair Use Copyright Law requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Determining the existence of copyright or any other legal restrictions, as well as obtaining permission from the copyright holder, is solely the responsibility of the user. The Boston Athenaeum cannot make such determinations for the user. The Boston Athenaeum also reserves the right to deny permission to reproduce images of any works in our collections based on copyright considerations and other factors.

Copyright Holders

The Boston Athenaeum respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you are a copyright holder and are concerned that you have found material made available on the Boston Athenaeum’s Digital Collections website without your permission, and believe our inclusion of this material violates your rights, please contact digitalprograms@bostonathenaeum.org and include the following:

  • Your contact information (including email address and phone),
  • URL where you found the material,
  • Details that describe the material (title, creator’s name, number of items, etc.),
  • The reason why you believe that your rights have been violated, with any pertinent documentation.

Upon receipt of a request, Boston Athenaeum staff will acknowledge the request via email or other means of communication if you do not have an email account. Thereafter, the validity of your concerns will be assessed. Upon request, we may temporarily remove the material from public view while we address the concern. Upon completion of the assessment, we will take appropriate action and communicate that action to you.

The Boston Athenaeum’s copyright policies on digital surrogates are informed by the Association of Research Libraries’ Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries and similar polices formed by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), University of Wisconsin—Madison, Chicago Public Library, and the University of California—San Diego.