Many items held by Special Collections and Archives are subject to copyright law. The copyright in digital material made available through the Special Collections & Archives online catalogue and British Cartoon Archive online catalogue is:
- owned by University of Kent; or
- protected by the copyright of third parties; or
- in the public domain (which means the copyright has expired).
Public domain content is free from copyright restrictions. This means you can reproduce it or use it online without permission, but we ask that you cite our collections as the source of the material.
You can use digital material that is copyright of the University of Kent and made available via the online catalogues under the terms of the University of Kent Open Education User License.
For more information please read our guidance on using copyright works.
Under certain circumstances you may be able to rely on exceptions to copyright to use in-copyright material without permission for purposes such as quotation or criticism and review.
Under UK law these are legal defences rather than rights and you are responsible for making sure that such uses are legal.
For more information please read our guidance on using copyright works or see exceptions to copyright in digital cultural heritage (from Copyright Cortex).
If you wish to use in-copyright material in broadcast or publication (including on the internet), you need the permission of the copyright holder. We ask to see this permission before we supply digital images from our collections.
If you want to use an in-copyright image for the purpose of non-commercial research or private study, you need to fill in our copyright declaration form (pdf) to confirm that you'll be using the image for this purpose only before we supply any digital copies.
If you visit the Reading Room you may use your own camera or mobile phone to take pictures of materials as long as you:
- handle the materials appropriately
- respect the intellectual property rights within them
- don't use a flash
- use support aids (cushions, wedges) for material if we ask you to.
If you want to photograph items, we'll ask you to fill in a self-service photography form. We'll give you any help you need to use our collections responsibly.
We reserve the right to refuse self-service photography of material that is too fragile or would need specialist handling.