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Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon

Rights and Restrictions Information

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730

The Swann Collection contains drawings, prints, and paintings related to the art of caricature, cartoon, and illustration by American and foreign artists and illustrators spanning the years 1780 to 1975. Patrons wishing to publish or otherwise distribute items from this collection must conduct item-specific assessments of the rights which may be associated with the specific pieces.

Access: Permitted; subject to P&P policy on serving originals.

Reproduction (photocopying, hand-held camera copying, photoduplication and other forms of copying allowed by "fair use"): Permitted, subject to P&P policy on copying, which prohibits photocopying of the original drawings.

Publication and other forms of distribution: May be restricted.

Patrons wishing to publish or otherwise distribute items from this collection must conduct item-specific assessments of the rights which may be associated with the specific pieces. Rights will vary depending on such factors as whether the work was published, whether it was unpublished (created for purposes other than distribution), and the date the work was created. Rights might be associated with the magazine or newspaper which first published the piece, or with the artist.

Online catalog records for cartoons in this collection include all legible information found on the item related to copyright, such as the name of the copyright claimant or the date and place of publication. When such information is available, patrons are advised to conduct a copyright search to determine if a copyright was registered and is still in effect. The addresses of such parties, and an indication of the status of their works (to the extent known by the Library) are provided in the Rights and Restrictions Information page found online on the Prints and Photographs Reading Room homepage at under the artist's name.

The Division's reference aid, "General Information about Copyright and Other Restrictions Which Apply to Publication and Other Forms of Distribution of Images: Sources for Information," found online at may be of assistance in determining the appropriate use of a drawing. Please note the following:

  • Works published works before 1923 are now in the public domain.
  • Published works copyrighted 1923 through 1977 that are still in their original term of copyright or whose copyright was renewed are protected for 95 years from the copyright date. (Copyrights registered up until Dec. 31, 1963 expired after 28 years, unless the copyright was renewed. The only way to determine whether items published from 1924 through 1963 are still in a renewal term of copyright is to do a copyright search and establish that the item was copyrighted and that the copyright was renewed.)
  • Unpublished works created but not registered for copyright before January 1, 1978 may be protected by copyright law until the year 2002 or the life of the author/creator/copyright holder plus 70 years, whichever is longer.
  • Works created after Jan. 1, 1978 are protected for the author/creator/copyright holders' life plus 70 years.

Privacy and publicity rights may also apply.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [CREDIT], [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]

For more information, please read: Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images: Assessing the Risk of Using a P&P Image

Prepared by: Prints and Photographs Division staff. Last revised: November 21, 2005

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  July 17, 2017
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