Copyright & our Image Collections
The State Library has a policy of developing resources that are widely accessible offsite. However, we are obliged to control the use of material that is either in copyright, or culturally sensitive. Even those images that are available worldwide are subject to some conditions.
The various categories and conditions of use are detailed on the catalogue record of each item. These include:
No known copyright restrictions
Some items on the State Library of South Australia catalogue are designated as having 'no known copyright restrictions'. Permission to use these items for any purpose, including publishing, is not required from the State Library, however certain conditions must be adhered to.
In copyright - viewable worldwide
Use of digital copies of in-copyright material requires a request for permission unless the item has been designated as having 'no known copyright restrictions' or the use falls within an exception, such as research or study.
You need to ask the Library's permission because a copyright owner may have allowed us to put a copy on our website but not allowed us to authorise uses beyond research or study. When you ask us for permission to copy the material, we will tell you whether any such restrictions apply.
In copyright - viewable onsite only
Viewing is restricted to within the State Library of South Australia. Any other use of the image is not permitted, unless the copyright owner's permission has been obtained. Also, the State Library as owner of the material requires users to obtain its permission for any further use such as publication.
These images depict Australian Aboriginal people or aspects of their culture. Users are warned that the database and associated images may contain names and photographs of Aboriginal people who have since died. This may cause sadness and distress to their relatives. Care and discretion should be taken when viewing such records and photographs.
Any other use of the image is not permitted unless the permission of the relevant community has been obtained. This permission is required under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols for libraries, archives and information services which the State Library supports. The image may also be in copyright, in which case any further use is not permitted unless the copyright owner's permission has also been obtained. The State Library as owner of the material requires users to obtain its permission for any further use such as publication.
- photographs taken before 1 January 1955 are out of copyright.
- photographs in copyright on 1 January 2005 and where the creator is unknown, stay in copyright from the year first published plus 70 years.
- photographs in copyright on 1 January 1955 where the creator is known, stay in copyright from the life of the creator plus 70 years.
Conditions of use are shown on each image in our catalogue, including some which are restricted to viewing within the State Library. Further information is available on Copyright.
Permission to publish
All requests for permission to publish should be made in writing, giving details of the item/s required and their proposed use. The requirement for permission to publish is based on ownership, not copyright, to ensure:
- copyright and donor provisions are met
- the State Library of South Australia receives due acknowledgement and promotion for use of material from its collections
- material is cited in a way that ensures it can be found by other researchers.
Find out more about Permission to publish.
Allow one week for receipt of a quotation of costs. If you accept the quotation we require prepayment before an order for copies can be placed. Allow another week for assessment of requests for permission to reproduce material.
Upon receipt of payment up to 5 working days are required to produce copies. Extra time may be required for some types of requests. Postage can take up to 4 days. The range of copying processes available and associated costs are shown on the Photograph printing page.
Find out more about Ordering copies from our collection.