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Copyright & Citations Rules


Copyright protects the rights of the creators of published and unpublished original works, including photographers, artists, architects, publishers, singers, writers, and composers. Many types of works are covered: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreography, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures, audiovisual works, sound recordings, architectural works. The copyright holder has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute and/or sell copies of the original work, and perform or display the work publicly.

Works created and published on or after January 1, 1978, are protected from creation throughout the life of the creator plus 70 years after the creator's death. Unpublished works are protected from the life of the author plus 70 years. If the death date of a creator of an unpublished work is unknown, the work is protected 120 years from its creation. Since copyright law continues to evolve, patrons are advised to consult the current copyright laws. Please click here to learn about current law. State and federal documents are not copyrighted. This tool is useful when evaluating copyright.


Please contact us for specific questions about citation rules with regard to our materials. Special Collections materials have been used for many outstanding publications. See our Research @ Hill page for a list of current books and websites which contain our collection materials.

See also Permission to Quote or Publish.