Information Regarding Rights to Use Materials in the Church History Catalog

(Updated 15 Mar 2017)


Materials in the Church History Catalog are subject to differing restrictions on the rights to use, copy, publish, or distribute such materials. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when using, copying, publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library's collections.

When the Library possesses information about the rights associated with an item or a collection of items, it conveys that information to researchers through rights statements in the catalog records and collection registers. Intellectual property rights belonging to or licensed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its affiliated entities are administered by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and managed through the Church’s Intellectual Property Office.

Rights statements appearing in the catalog records and collection registers are as follows:

  1. In Copyright—Owned by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. When the use rights are known to belong to Intellectual Reserve, Inc., you may request permission to use the item by contacting the Intellectual Property Office.
  2. In Copyright—Licensed to Intellectual Reserve, Inc. When the use rights are known to be licensed to Intellectual Reserve, Inc., you may request permission to use the item by contacting  the Intellectual Property Office.
  3. In Copyright—Other Rights Holder. When the rights belong to another rights holder, you will have to request permission of the rights holder.
  4. Copyright Not Evaluated. When the use rights are unknown, you may request an inquiry by clicking the “Suggest Digitization” (or “Ask Us”) button for an item.  We respond to requests in the order they are received. Depending on the nature, complexity, and age of the item, fulfillment of your request may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months.
  5. No Known Copyright. When there are no known restrictions, the researcher will be responsible for determining whether the item may be used, copied, published, or distributed.

Rights Restriction Notice

The Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Library”) makes a reasonable effort to determine the restrictions, if any, on the rights of patrons to use, copy, publish, or distribute materials from the Library’s various collections. When the Library has information about the rights or restrictions associated with specific Library materials, that information is passed along to the patrons through rights statements in the Library’s catalog.

It is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy all copyright or other restrictions when using, copying, publishing, or distributing any materials found in the Library’s collection.

There are certain materials as to which the Library has not determined, or cannot reasonably determine, whether there are any restrictions that might limit a patron’s use of the materials. If an item in one of the Library’s collections does not contain a rights note, it may mean the Library has not received or gathered information pertaining to the rights for that item, or that the Library has been unable to determine the rights information. In those cases, patrons desiring to use that item will need to determine the rights and any applicable restrictions for themselves.

One place to begin is to search the records of the U.S. Copyright Office. Further information about copyright searching is available in Circular 22 published by the U.S. Copyright Office, entitled “How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.” Information may also be obtained from the Search Division of the U.S. Copyright Office (telephone: (202) 707-6850), or at http://www.copyright.gov/records/.

Although conducting a copyright search may not be considered conclusive evidence, conducting such a search may be important to show that the patron made a good faith effort to determine its rights to use specific materials. Patrons should keep in mind that materials maintained by the Library have been created and collected over a long period of time, so the wording of rights information may vary.

Remember: in all cases, it is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library’s collections.

When material from one of the Library’s collections is reproduced in a publication or website or otherwise published or distributed, the Library requests the courtesy of a credit line.

Ideally, the credit will include the following information:

  1. reference to the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  2. the specific collection in which the material is included
  3. any identifying number, such as an image reproduction number

Appropriately crediting research materials furthers scholarship by helping other patrons locate material and acknowledges the contribution made by the Library.

For specific instructions see the Library’s Citation Guidelines.

Effective date:  March 15, 2017