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Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Records

Rights and Restrictions Information

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


Publication and other forms of distribution: The collection includes original and copy photographs, artwork, and prints created prior to 1969, gathered by the NAACP from many sources. Copyright for each item is determined by guidelines on the duration of copyright; see: Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images: Assessing the Risk of Using a P&P Image - How Long Copyrights Last. Privacy and publicity rights may also apply. In general, items in the collection fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Wire service, professional photographer, studio, publicity, or other photographs and original artwork from commercial sources - The commercial status of these images can be recognized by the appearance of the name of a photographer or studio on the image, e.g., Ernest Withers, Morgan & Marvin Smith, Addison Scurlock. More information on specific wire services is available on the Rights and Restrictions Information page, under AP/Wide World, Black Star, United Press International, ACME, and other company names. As the Division learns pertinent rights information for a given individual or organization, that information is added through a listing on the Rights and Restrictions Information page.
  2. Images by unidentified creators and images from unidentified sources are problematic because of the lack of information. Patrons who wish to show that a reasonable effort was made to determine copyright status should request a copyright search and retain any reply for their records.
  3. U.S. Government-issued photographs - Works created by officers and employees of the United States Government are not eligible for copyright protection within the United States. 17 U.S.C. § 105. For more information about U.S. government works and copyright, see: https://www.usa.gov/government-works.
  4. Original artwork and prints - For works published or registered for copyright 95 years ago or less or for unpublished works, rights may be held by the creator, creator's heirs, the publisher, or others.

Access: Subject to P&P policy on serving originals. This policy requires the use of microfilm in place of the originals.

Reproduction (photocopying, hand-held camera copying, photoduplication and other forms of copying allowed by "fair use"): Subject to P&P policy on copying.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the NAACP Records, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-90145]

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. Revised: March 2000; March 2019


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  March 28, 2019
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