November 18, 2019 Meeting of Administrative Council

Time and Location of Meeting

November 18, 2019428 Library

Agenda Details


Free and Open Use of Online Public Domain Reproductions, Metadata, and Digitization Requests

This policy governs free and open use of digital reproductions and accompanying metadata of public domain works that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library makes available online (the “Policy”).[1]  This Policy is subject to the following explanations and limitations:

  1. Statement about materials in the public domain. The Library does not claim to hold copyright in public domain materials that it digitally reproduces and makes openly available online. Researchers may make free and open use of Library-digitized public domain materials and accompanying metadata.  This policy does not apply to items owned by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, to works where the copyright has been transferred to the University of Illinois Foundation,  or to works that remain under copyright either in the U.S. or abroad.

1.1  Attribution.  Researchers are requested to attribute use of reproductions subject to this Policy as follows, or in accordance with discipline-specific standards:

[Identification of the item], [Name of collection], [Call number of collection], [Name of the University of Illinois Library, e.g., The Rare Book & Manuscript Library], University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For University Archives materials:  [Identification of the item], [Name of the record series], [Record Series number], [Box number], [Folder title] [University Archives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign].

For IDEALS materials:  please include the handle identifier in the attribution.

1.2. No Charge.  The Library will not charge a fee for using reproductions of public domain works, or any accompanying metadata, that it chooses to make available for download online—including as to any such images that are uploaded in high-resolution or of publication quality. However, the Library reserves all rights to consider, and to charge fees to fulfill, requests for new digitization or the provision of high-resolution digital files that are not yet openly available online, or assistance with research using the University Archives.  See the Reproduction & Research Services Fee Schedule for further information.

1.3. Exceptions.  While reproductions and metadata subject to this Policy may lack U.S. copyright protection, this does not mean that other federal or state laws or contractual agreements do not apply to their use and distribution. It is the researcher’s responsibility to assess permissible uses under all other laws and conditions including privacy and publicity rights, and contractual restrictions.

1.4. Disclaimers.  Use of reproductions or metadata subject to this Policy shall be at the researcher’s sole risk. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Library disclaims all warranties of any kind (express, implied, or otherwise), including but not limited to any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular use, non-infringement, and/or as to the accuracy or completeness of content or related information, in connection with these digital reproductions.  Neither the Library nor the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, or any of their employees or agents, shall be responsible or liable for any damage that may occur due to researchers’ use of any material subject to this Policy.


Updated  2019-09-10

[1] For works that are not in the public domain or have not previously been digitally reproduced, please make a request for digital access for items from:

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library Requests for Digital Reproduction of items from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The University Archives Requests for Digital Reproduction of items from the University Archives
IDEALS Request to Make Dissertation or Thesis Available in IDEALS form
Another Library Location Library General Digital Reproduction


Minutes Details


Administrative Council Meeting MINUTES

November 18, 2019 1:30-2:30pm

Present: Tom Teper, Diane Laskowski, John Wilkin, Susan Avery, Tracy Tolliver, Kim Hutcherson, Bill Mischo, Atoma Batoma, Chris Prom, Heidi Imker, Cherié Weible, Joanne Kaczmarek (note-taker)


  1. Free Open Use of Online Public Domain Reproductions, Metadata, and Digitization Requests policy draft – discussion (Sara Benson)


Sara Benson provided background on the draft policy. Basically, the draft was created to provide easy guidance to anyone (individuals or publishers) asking for permission to use materials made available via the Library that are in the public domain. We’d like anyone that may publish an image of something they receive through us to provide an attribution note but this is not something we can enforce. There will be no charge for using public domain materials unless they need to be digitized. Essentially any fees requested are to cover costs of digitization.

Some individuals with whom Sara talked about the draft policy think we need something more than a disclaimer. Sara disagrees, thinking the disclaimer covers all we need it to cover.

John asked if this draft policy has any interactions with existing policies in any way.

Sara indicated it will link to other related policies.

John reminded everyone that several years back, Tom Teper oversaw an effort related to fees and how/when we charge for services and wondered whether there is any overlap with what came out of that past effort and this draft policy. Etc..

Joanne commented that the draft policy really doesn’t seem to be a policy but rather a guidance document.

Sara and others agreed that it shouldn’t matter what we call the document but that it should be linked to from many different places.

John asked for a couple volunteers to work with Sara to update the document and get it posted.

Chris Prom expressed concerns that the document needs to be thoughtfully updated so as to reduce how many people misread what we are trying to say with it.

Susan Avery asked if we can insert a definition of “public domain”.

Heidi Imker suggested we could indicate somewhere in the document that it does not apply to things that are not in the public domain such as: ….

Bill Mischo redirected the discussion toward occasional requests for help with digitizing materials to support departments’ exhibits. Bill asked if there is still an account that can be used to pay RBML and Archives to cover these kinds of costs.

Tom Teper indicated that the expectation was for the Library to help out on a regular basis to support these kinds of services with the intent that Archives (or RBML, etc.) would cover costs upfront and then submit requests to cover those expenses to the Dean.

John suggested we should look at what Tom was doing before and make sure our costs are being covered.

Chris and Tom agreed to work with Sara work on the document to refine it further and submit as a policy for AC to approve at a future meeting.

Other Items?

There were no other items.

Meeting adjourned at 2pm.