Researchers may request reproductions of materials in Special Collections for use in personal research. Special Collections will not reproduce materials if doing so would violate copyright law or donor restrictions, or if reproducing puts the materials at risk for damage. Special Collections also reserves the right to set limits on the amount of copying or scanning it will undertake.

Once a reproduction request is received, staff will evaluate and respond if there are fees associated with your request. Fees are meant to offset the cost of staff time, materials, and handling and are only applied for requests that require significant investment of the aforementioned resources.

To obtain reproductions, please complete and submit our Reproduction Request FormResearchers wishing to publish (internet and social media included), broadcast, perform, or exhibit materials held by Special Collections must complete a separate Publication Request Form (see below).


College of Charleston Libraries are committed to supporting research, teaching, scholarship, publication, and artistic production involving use of the Library’s Special Collections materials. To remove barriers to such uses, it is not necessary to seek the Library’s permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials from its collections. This applies whether your use is non-commercial or commercial.

To request a scan of an item for publication, please complete and submit a Publication Request form. Please note that we reserve the right to postpone or refuse a request due to limitations in resources or if the material is restricted by content or physical condition. Digitization and handling fees may apply.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law.

The nature of the College of Charleston’s archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts.

Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials. The Library’s consent as the steward of materials does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user or recipient of reproductions to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to any distribution or publication. If the text or image in question is under copyright, permission to publish should be sought from the owners of the rights, typically the creator or the heirs to their estate unless covered by the principle of  Fair Use.

Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials.

Any use of Special Collections materials is subject to the user’s agreement to indemnify and hold harmless the College of Charleston, its officers, employees and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions and expenses. By your use of these materials, you agree to these responsibilities, including the noted legal protections of the College of Charleston.

Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. For your convenience, suggested citation format is available here.

For assistance in determining if the material is under copyright or in the public domain, please see Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.