Publishing Woodson Materials

Woodson Research Center can help you publish material you find in the archives.

The Woodson Research Center Use Policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

  1. Determine copyright status of specific materials to be published. For more information, see the "Determining Copyright Status" section below.
  2. Request permission to publish or exhibit Woodson materials. Submit a completed and signed Permission to Publish form [PDF] to Woodson staff. 
  3. Select appropriate citation format. When publishing entire works or portions of entire works, complete and accurate citations should be used, even if the item is not under copyright protection. 
    • For original materials: [Item title, collection title], Courtesy of Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
    • For digital materials from our website: [Item title, collection title, URL of webpage], Courtesy of Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Note: By authorizing one-time publication of materials, the Woodson Research Center does not transfer copyright.


Determining Copyright Status

Woodson staff can assist you in determining copyright status, although primary responsibility for pursuing this information rests with the researcher.

Contact Woodson staff regarding the status of the specific material in question.

  • In some cases, copyright is held by the Woodson Research Center
  • In many cases, copyright is held by the original creator of the material.
  • In other cases, materials are in the public domain and are not under any copyright.
  • Visit the Library of Congress Copyright Slider (requires Flash) for help.

If the work in question is under copyright protection, patrons seeking permission to publish must:

  • obtain written permission from the copyright holder, or
  • demonstrate an adequate attempt to track copyright holders, or
  • show that the publication of the intended copyrighted material would fall under the Fair Use clause of Copyright Law and therefore does not require copyright holder's permission.

Woodson staff will provide what specific copyright information is available, and may refer the researcher to copyright research sites such as the WATCH site maintained by the University of Texas at Austin, or to the Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office.

The Copyright Law of the United States [Title 17, US Code] governs the reproduction and publication of copyrighted materials.

For information on the Fair Use clause under federal Copyright law, visit any of the following sites:

Woodson Research Center reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying or publication request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would violate copyright law.