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Copyright Guidelines for Digital Collections

The digital collections of the University of Miami Libraries include items from the Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, the University Archives, and from our general holdings. The Libraries have made these collections available to support research, teaching, and scholarship.

The copyright status of the items in these collections generally fall under three categories (see below). Whenever possible, the Libraries attempts to identify the copyright status of the item in the descriptive information at either an item or collection level. However, there may be cases where there is no rights information recorded for an item or a collection. In all cases, the user has the final obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when using items found in the Libraries’ digital collections.

Public Domain
If an item is in the public domain, you may use this work as you wish without requesting permission for its use. The University of Miami Libraries asks that you provide attribution to the Libraries as possible.

Under Copyright
If a work is under copyright, it is the user's obligation to determine whether their projected use of an item falls under fair use or other provisions of copyright law or whether the user needs to seek further permission for a specific use. We encourage users to become familiar with what might be possible under the fair use provisions of copyright law. See for a useful tool and set of resources.

In some cases, an item may be in copyright, but the copyright holder has explicitly granted permissions for broad use either through a Creative Commons License or through a statement on the work itself (for example, see which is specifically 'anti-copyright').

Additionally, an item may be protected under copyright, but after due diligence it may be determined that the copyright holder is unidentifiable or unlocatable. In such instances, we will update the rights status if more information about the copyright holder becomes available.

Copyright Status Unknown or Undetermined

For some items it is not possible to determine the copyright status because we do not have clear provenance or information about publication/creation dates. In other cases, we may suspect that the item is in the public domain, but cannot make a full determination. It is the user’s obligation to determine how to proceed in regards to use of an item (i.e. to proceed as if the item is under copyright or not).

If you are a copyright owner or hold more information about items in the digital collection that might clarify rights issues, please contact the Digital Production Department at Upon request, we will remove items from public view if there is a rights issue to be resolved.

If you are interested in a reproduction or a high resolution image of an item in the collection, you may make a request to the department responsible for the collection. The availability of reproductions is subject to the item’s size, condition, and copyright restrictions. Please see our policies on use and reproduction.

Contact information for reproduction requests:

Cuban Heritage Collection

Special Collections

University Archives

Digital Production Department