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Permissions & Copyright

The Medical Historical Library is committed to providing broad access to its collections for teaching, learning, and research  in accordance with Yale University Policy. The Medical Historical Library’s website, catalog records, finding aids, and digital images enhance scholarship and promote use of both the digital and the original object. 

In general, the Medical Historical Library does not hold the copyright to its materials and, hence, cannot grant or deny permission to use them. Accordingly, you are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any materials you may wish to use, to investigate the owner of the copyright, and to obtain permission for your intended use. Regardless of whether the Medical Historical Library is the copyright holder, all materials from its collections should contain the credit line provided below, and if a particular material is copyrighted, you must cite all copyright information and comply with all other terms or restrictions that may be applicable to that material.

Credit line: Medical Historical Library, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

Permission to examine born-digital materials or printed copies is not an authorization to publish. If the content in question is under copyright, permission to publish should be sought from the owners of rights, typically the creator or the heir to the creator’s estate.

Public Domain and Fair Use

The Medical Historical Library welcomes you to use materials in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law. Please consult this Yale University Library copyright guidance guide for more information.

Public Domain: You do not need to obtain permission to use materials in the public domain. (Cornell University publishes a chart that may help you to identify what is and is not in the public domain in the United States.)

Fair Use: The United States copyright law contains an exception for fair use of copyrighted materials, which includes the use of protected materials for certain purposes of teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. For guidelines on the fair use exception, please refer to the Website of the United States Copyright Office.

You are solely responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use. By using materials from our website, you agree and warrant that your use will not violate the rights of the Medical Historical Library or any other person or entity. 

Commercial Use

If you wish to use any copyrighted materials or content on the Website for commercial use or any purpose other than fair use as defined by law, you must request and receive prior written permission for your intended use from the copyright holder. (See Researching copyright below for assistance with investigating copyright status and ownership.) 

Researching Copyright

The copyright holder is usually the author of the material or the author’s heirs or assigns. The following are resources that may assist your investigation of the copyright status and ownership of the copyrighted material you wish to use:

WATCH File: The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) is a database containing primarily the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.

U.S. Copyright Office: You can search a public database at the U.S. Copyright Office for copyright information on all works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office after January 1, 1978.

Contact the Medical Historical Library

Whenever possible, the Medical Historical Library tries to provide factual information about copyright owners and related matters pertaining to its materials. Please contact the Medical Historical Library at the following email address if you have more information about any such material, or, if you are the copyright owner and believe the website has not properly attributed your work or has used it without your authorization: historical.library@yale.edu