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Permissions and Copyright

Permissions and Copyright 

The West Virginia and Regional History Center does not require permission to publish. However, we are not the copyright holder for many of our collections and it is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that they have the proper permissions required prior to publication. The WVRHC cannot grant permission for, nor can we facilitate gaining permission, for materials where we are not the rights holder. The researcher assumes all responsibility when using our collections. Please see the Conditions for Duplication of Materials in the WVRHC for further information.

We do ask that researchers credit any of our collections used. We do not have a suggested citation, but our basic credit line is “West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries.” For archives and manuscripts, the suggested citation is: 

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], [Collection Name], [Collection Number], West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, Morgantown, West Virginia. 

The chart below is provided to help researchers understand the types of copyright status and potential permissions needed, however it is not exhaustive and each researcher should research copyright statuses thoroughly. 

Copyright Status 

Permission needed 

Materials in the public domain 

No permission is needed 

Materials not in the public domain 

Permission may be needed. Researchers will need to determine if they need permission for their specific use 

WVU university archives 

WVU is the copyright holder for this material and permission will need to be granted from WVU if the use exceeds fair use. Please contact our Head of Archives and Manuscripts, Jane LaBarbara at for further information 

Congressional archives Materials created by federal elected officials while carrying out official duties are not copyrighted. Materials created outside of official duties are copyrighted.  Please contact our Congressional & Political Papers Archivist, Danielle Emerling at for further information.


Determining copyright status and researching rights holders  

Use the following to learn more about the Public Domain, Fair Use, and researching a rights holder:

Is the material I’m using in the Public Domain? 

Do I even need permission?  

Researching a copyright holder and asking for permission