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C. M. Bell Studio Collection

Rights and Restrictions Information

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

There are no known restrictions on photographs taken by the C. M. Bell Studio. Privacy and publicity rights may apply.

Access: Subject to P&P policy on serving originals.

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

Publication and other forms of distribution: The information below pertains to two rights areas: 1) Copyright; and, 2) Privacy and Publicity Rights:


There are no known restrictions on photographs in the C. M. Bell Studio Collection. The C. M. Bell Studio operated between 1873 and 1909. Charles Milton Bell died in 1893, after which the studio was operated by members of his family and then by others to whom the studio was sold. The studio continued to be operated under Bell's name until it closed in 1909. At that point, the negatives were sold to another Washington photographer, I. M. Boyce. About 200 negatives with negative numbers between 58,572 and 800,000 may have been added by Boyce between 1909 and 1916.

It is possible that some photographs made by the C.M. Bell or Boyce's studios were "works for hire," and copyright may have been held by the original client. The term of copyright for works for hire is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter, so the likelihood that copyrights still exist for even the latest photos is very small. All information about the subjects/clients for the photographs is included in the descriptions for the photos.

Privacy and Publicity Rights

Privacy and publicity rights of the subjects of the photos may apply. For more information about privacy and publicity rights, please see this section of the Library of Congress Legal page:

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, C. M. Bell Studio Collection, [Reproduction number e.g., LC-DIG-ppmsca-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. Created: November 2015.

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  July 17, 2017
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