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PH Filing Series

Rights and Restrictions Information

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730

The PH filing series includes more than 2,500 individual photographs and more than 100 portfolios (or otherwise unbound sets of photographs) of great aesthetic, technical or historic importance, from a variety of sources. The photographs date from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The use of images in this collection may be restricted. Privacy and publicity rights may also apply.

Access: Permitted; subject to P&P policy on serving originals, which requires the use of digital surrogates in lieu of originals, when available.

Reproduction (xeroxing, hand-held camera copying, photoduplication and other forms of copying allowed by "fair use"): Permitted: subject to P&P policy on copying which prohibits xeroxing of original photographs.

Publication and other forms of distribution: May be restricted.

When the Library is aware of the rights status of a work in the PH Filing Series, a note is included in the online catalog record. When works are restricted, the addresses of such parties, and an indication of the status of their works (to the extent known by the Library), are provided online on the Rights and Restrictions Information page under the photographer/agency name.

When explicit rights notes are not found in the catalog record, the record should be examined for information or clues useful in determining the rights status of the piece, and patrons must conduct a "risk analysis" to determine appropriate use of an image. This involves coupling a knowledge of rights principles (such as duration of copyright, and the definition of "published" works) with the risk associated with the intended use (i.e. educational or commercial) and making and documenting for the user's records a decision about whether or not use is appropriate.

Patrons who wish to show that a reasonable effort was made to determine copyright status may wish to request a copyright search and retain any supplied report for their records. The Division's reference aid, "General Information about Copyright and Other Restrictions Which Apply to Publication and Other Forms of Distribution of Images: Sources for Information," found online at may be of assistance in determining the appropriate use of a photograph.

Privacy and publicty rights may also apply.

Credit line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-90145]

For more information, please read: Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images: Assessing the Risk of Using a P&P Image

Prepared by: Prints and Photographs Division staff. Last revised: April 21, 2005.

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  October 22, 2010
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