Image Reproductions & Permissions

Image Reproductions & Permissions

In the People's Archive

Copyright | Reproductions | Permissions | Photo Orders | Scanning Fee Schedule | User Fee Schedule Contact


The copyright status of photographs and audiovisual material is often difficult to determine because it is affected by the employment status of the creator, the date material was created, the date material was first published, and what information accompanied the first publication. We have not determined copyright status for many of the materials in our collection, though ownership of copyright by DC Public Library and public domain status is noted, if known.

The library is not responsible for either determining the copyright status of the items in our collections or for securing copyright permission. While we do provide copies of our materials for research or publication, the researcher must exercise caution in using those materials and securing all necessary rights. Possession of a copy of an image, audio, or video from the library does not constitute permission to use it.


Dig DC: Digitized materials from the People's Archive can be found at Dig DC. Copies of items in Dig DC can be downloaded from the site at no cost for personal or non-commercial use. For higher resolution files of materials from Dig DC, contact us

Cameras: Researchers may use their own cameras to reproduce images at no cost.

Scans: Library staff can scan images not available digitally for a fee after filling out our permission form. Patrons are not permitted to scan our photo collections, but are permitted to scan other archival collections on our reading room copiers.


Fair Use: Use of materials falls under fair use if it is for research, government use, business report, or personal display. In these cases, researchers pay no user fees.

Permission to Publish: Researchers must request permission to publish materials from the library's collections, physical or digital. Reusing images for different projects requires a separate permission.

Photo Orders

Scan Orders: Researchers may order scans of images from our collections by completing the front and back of a permission form. Staff will share the requested scans with the customer electronically when the order is complete (typically within a week).

Permission-only Orders: Researchers who want to publish, display, or broadcast an image from the People's Archive that they already have should contact staff in order to obtain permission.

For all photo orders, staff will prepare an invoice. The library accepts checks payable to the "D.C. Treasurer." We are also able to accept credit card payments by billing a DC Public Library card account

Fee Schedule

$15 fee per scan 

Charge per image based on usage:
Nonprofit     Free
Published book $35
Published book cover   $100
Newspaper/Magazine article $20
Magazine cover    $100
Print advertisement $100
Posters, postcards, pamphlets, flyers, calendar $35
Commercial décor  $50
Web site $20
Exhibitions at commercial venues $20
Local or public TV broadcast  $20
Cable or network TV broadcast $50
Commercial DVD or video  $50
Motion picture $150


Contact us at or call 202-727-1213 for any questions about reproductions and permissions.

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