Skip to Content

Rights & Reproductions

Brooklyn Historical Society encourages all library users to bring cameras to document the interior landmarked reading room and to photograph collection materials for research purposes.

We are also pleased to offer photocopies and digital reproductions of materials. All forms of payment are accepted, and all requests are subject to copyright law.

Reproduction Services


BHS allows photography of collection materials for research purposes.

  • Manuscripts, maps, broadsides, and other single sheets must be kept flat on the table while being photographed. Books, bound manuscripts, and other bound materials must be photographed while in a cradle.
  • Users agree to abide by the regulations of U.S. copyright law (U.S. Code, Title 17). Any violations of the copyright law are the responsibility of the researcher and are not the responsibility of Brooklyn Historical Society.

BHS also allows visitors to photograph the reading room.

  • Please respect the privacy of other researchers and museum visitors, and do not include them in your photographs.

In both cases:

  • Hand-held, still photography cameras and cell phone cameras only.
  • Flash is not permitted.
  • The photographer’s feet must remain on the floor at all times.
  • Tripods, chairs, stools, ladders, or other devices to adjust the angle of photography are not permitted.


Library staff will gladly provide on-site photocopies of materials for researchers provided that doing so will not cause damage to the item.

  • Staff will assess whether or not photocopying will damage the materials in question. We reserve the right to refuse to photocopy certain collections.
  • Photocopies cost fifty cents per page.
  • Large orders may not be fulfilled the same day they are requested.
  • This service is not currently available for off-site researchers.

Image Files

Brooklyn Historical Society offers scanned versions of photographs from our online image catalog.

  • To search our holdings, please search the online image gallery.
  • Requests are submitted via this application form.
  • Upon receipt of your application, a staff member will reply as soon as possible with an invoice for the cost of the request.
  • Fees vary depending on usage and file format. See below for more information.
  • Scans are supplied as digital files via Dropbox.

Reproduction Rights Policy


The Brooklyn Historical Society (“BHS”) provides photocopying and reproduction services for materials contained in its collections (the “Collection Materials”) for educational, personal and commercial use to the extent permitted by U.S. Copyright Law, other applicable law, and BHS policies. This Reproduction Rights Policy (this “Policy”) sets forth the terms and conditions under which BHS will permit its Collection Materials to be reproduced.

All applicants who request reproduction of Collection Materials agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in this Policy. Failure to comply with this Policy shall result in immediate revocation of the permission for reproduction granted and require surrender of all reproductions of Collection Materials.

If an applicant acts on behalf of a third party, this Policy shall apply to both the applicant and the third party.

BHS reserves the right to modify this Policy and the Reproduction Request Application Form from time to time without notice.

Copyright Protection

Certain Collection Materials may be protected by copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights (collectively, the “IP Rights”) not owned by BHS. BHS can only grant permission to reproduce Collection Materials that are either in the public domain or for which BHS is the owner of the IP Rights.

If a reproduction request is made for Collection Materials whose IP Rights holder(s) are either not BHS or unknown to BHS, BHS can grant such request only if written permission for reproduction from such IP Rights holder(s) is provided to BHS. The responsibility for locating the IP Rights holder(s) and obtaining all necessary written permission remains solely with the applicant.

All Collection Materials or portions thereof must be reproduced unaltered unless approved in advance by a member of the BHS collections staff (the “Collections Staff”).

Reproduction is carried out only by the Collections Staff unless approved otherwise in advance by the Collections Staff.

Taking Photographs in the Library

BHS allows non-flash photography of Collection Materials.

  • All cameras must be hand-held
  • Flash is not permitted
  • The photographer’s feet must remain on the floor at all times
  • Tripods, chairs, stools, ladders, or other devices to adjust the angle of photography are not permitted
  • Only still photography cameras may be used

Manuscripts, maps, broadsides, and other single sheets must be kept flat on the table during photography. Books, bound manuscripts, and other bound materials must be photographed while in a cradle.

Right to Refuse

BHS strives to make all Collection Materials available for reproduction to the extent permitted by law especially as such reproduction furthers its mission. However, BHS also recognizes that certain copyright and condition circumstances may limit its ability to do so. Therefore, BHS reserves the right to refuse reproduction requests or impose additional condition restrictions as those restrictions might fulfill the best interests of BHS and the Collection Materials. Such determination shall be made solely by the Collections Staff.

Reproduction and Publication Permission

Permission for reproduction is non-exclusive, and is valid only for the applicant to whom it is specifically issued. Permission may not be transferred, assigned, sold, or otherwise disposed of without the prior written consent of BHS.

Permission is granted only for a Single Use (as defined below) of the reproduction for the expressed purpose(s) set forth in the Application Form. A “Single Use” is defined as a publication or product having a single physical format, a single date of production, and a single market. Any change in content constitutes a separate edition. Any subsequent or different use, including subsequent editions, editions in a different physical format, or editions in a different language constitutes a re-use and a new application must be made and approved, with the appropriate fees paid.

Permission does not transfer any underlying rights in the Collection Materials; in providing the reproductions, BHS does not surrender or otherwise limit its own rights, and retains its own full rights in the Collection Materials, including, but not limited to, the right to publish the Collection Materials and to publicly display the Collection Materials.

BHS may grant rights to publish Collection Materials pursuant to this Policy. Rights to publish are granted only for a Single Use for a period not to exceed ten years for the express purpose(s) set forth in the the Application Form.

Application Procedure

All requests to reproduce Collection Materials must be submitted on the Application Form. Fees shall be charged in accordance with the fee schedule attached hereto as Exhibit A, and must be paid in full in advance. No permission shall be valid until the Application Form is approved by the Collections Staff and full payment of the applicable fees is received by BHS.

Privacy and Publicity Rights

An individual depicted in a reproduction has certain privacy and publicity rights pursuant to federal and applicable state laws. BHS reserves the right to require a release from individuals whose privacy and publicity rights may be violated by the use of the reproduction; if such a release is not provided to BHS, BHS reserves the right to refuse granting the reproduction request. The responsibility for obtaining such a release remains solely with the applicant. BHS extends the privacy and publicity rights to include ceremonial objects and rites of cultural groups and requires the permission of that group before granting reproduction requests.

Releases and Indemnification

BHS makes no warranties or representations of any kind, and assumes no responsibility whatsoever, for claims against the applicant or BHS arising out of or in connection with the content of the reproductions.

The Collection Materials may be subject to IP Rights, moral rights, property rights or other rights belonging to third parties (collectively, “Third-Party Rights”. BHS makes no representations or warranties of any kind that it owns or grants any Third Party Right(s) to the applicant.

The applicant is solely responsible for determining whether the reproduction and use of requested materials require the consent of holders of Third-Party Rights and for obtaining such consent.

The applicant further agrees to protect, defend, indemnify, save, and hold harmless BHS against any actual or alleged infringement of any patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, or any other proprietary rights or any violation of a right of privacy or publicity, including all costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees, arising out of or in connection with BHS’s grant of reproduction permission and/or the applicant’s use of such reproduction.

Credit Line

All reproductions of Collection Materials shall include the credit line “Brooklyn Historical Society” or as otherwise specified by BHS. Credit lines must appear in close proximity to the reproductions or in a special section devoted to credits. Image orders will include a full citation when delivered electronically.


This Policy and the Application Form collectively constitute the entire agreement and understanding between BHS and the applicant with respect to the subject matter hereof (the “Agreement”) and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether written or oral, relating to such subject matter in any way.

The Agreement, its validity and effect shall be interpreted under, and governed by, the laws of the state of New York and shall be considered to have been made and accepted in New York.

Any and all disputes arising out of or in connection with the Agreement shall be settled by arbitration in New York, New York, pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association in effect at the time arbitration is demanded.

Copyright 101

Listed below are several sources so that researchers may locate intellectual owners of items in our collection. Please feel free to recommend more via email.

This is a quick guide to whether or not your item is protected by copyright.

Peter Hirtle of Cornell University updates this useful guide annually.

This website is helpful for users and owners of intellectual property.

United States code that outlines United States copyright law

Duke University’s entertaining copyright graphic tutorial.

A copyright community blog.

A guide to copyright basics.

Takedown Notice

In attempt to make the library and archival collections available to the widest audience possible, Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) has placed photographs of items from our collections online. For each item, we have tried to make sure that we have secured all necessary rights. If you believe that we have made a mistake, please contact us so that we can correct it.

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an appropriate manner, including the removal or disabling of access to material claimed to be subject of infringing activity. Direct any notices of infringement to: [email protected] To file a notice of infringement with us, you must fulfill the requirements specified in Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. The text of this statute can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website,

Image Delivery Fees

Charging fees for reproductions helps defray the cost of ongoing digitization activity, rights and reproductions customer service, and other critical Library & Archives operations.

BHS does not own the intellectual rights to all items in the collection. All uses and fees assessed will be determined by the collection staff. Notification of reproduction denial due to copyright status will be described when applicable.

The fees outlined below are per image. To request images from BHS collections, please fill out the Reproduction Application Form above. To receive a quote, submit a reproduction application, or ask a question: Please contact us at [email protected]

Type Educational, Scholarly, Student Uses* All Publishers, Commercial Uses* Personal
Books, CD-Roms, DVDs & Non-broadcast Videos $0-25 $25-125 $25
Magazines, Journals Newspapers $0-25 $25- 225 N/A
Catalogs, Posters, Direct Mail, Promotional Materials $0-25 $25- 225 N/A
Exhibition, Performance, Presentation, Lecture $0-25 $25- 125 $25 (home display)
Internet, Website, Apps $0-25 $25- 125 $35 (personal blog, non-commercial website)
TV, Cable, Satellite, Broadcast & Feature Films, Documentaries $0-25 $25- 175 N/A

*Please indicate a deadline for your request. A 50 percent rush fee may apply.

*Rates may be higher for book covers, large publication runs, films, and extended use.

*Rights to publish are granted only for a Single Use for a period not to exceed ten years.

Contact Information

For additional information or questions, please contact library staff.

Library Staff