Publish with Our Special Collections


Row of leatherbound books.In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. Furthermore, we do not assert any additional restrictions on copies of these items beyond those that might exist in the original. As such, we cannot grant or deny permission to use copies of these items. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

If the material you are working with is in the public domain, you do not require our permission to publish; you are free to use the images in any way that you would like, including in print. For digitized collections, high resolution images may be downloaded from Digital Commonwealth or the Internet Archive. If you need images from material that has not been digitized, contact our staff to see if we are able to provide any images. In order to help others locate these materials in the future, we do ask that you include Boston Public Library and the call number of the item you are using in your citation. If you need further assistance, we're happy to help.

For material that is still in copyright, you will need to determine if the intended use may be considered exempt from copyright restrictions under the fair use section of U.S. copyright law or secure permission from the copyright holder(s). You may wish to contact us to check if we have any donor information. Other helpful resources in locating copyright holders include:


To help future researchers find their way back to our collections, we ask that citations include Boston Public Library as the holding institution.


It’s most helpful to include Boston Public Library and the call number of the item you are using in your citation (for example: Boston Public Library. MS q Med.105). If you need assistance identifying the call number, we're happy to help. 

Archival Collections
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