Publication Policy and Copyright

Publication Policy

General Position

In order to reduce barriers to the dissemination of research conducted in its collections, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) will ordinarily not set conditions on publication of materials from its collections in connection with scholarship.

In most cases, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns only the physical object and therefore does not assume any responsibility for literary property, copyright, or any other legal issues involved in the publication and reproduction of items in its collections. It is the responsibility of the user to secure permission from the appropriate copyright holder.

  • Manuscript Citation: identification of specific item, date [if known], name of collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
  • Oral History Citation: The Reminiscences of [Interviewee name], date, page number, in the Center for Oral History of Columbia University in the City of New York.
  • Book Citation: Title, Call #, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.


RBML holds the copyright to the following archival collections:

  • Joseph Urban Papers
  • William Bronk Papers
  • Hart Crane Papers


Columbia University Libraries Publication and Digital Reproduction Policy and Procedures

For additional information on copyright and fair use issues, please visit the web site of the CUL Copyright Advisory Office. You may also want to consult WATCH, a database containing the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom. WATCH is a joint project of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Reading Library, Reading, England.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, UNITED STATES CODE) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright materials.

Under certain conditions qualified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or other reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or other reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that use may be liable for copyright infringement.  This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a reproduction order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of copyright law.