Use of Library & Archives Materials

Documents, images, and other media in the collections of the Tennessee State Library and Archives are generally open and available for use by individuals for personal or research use. However, the Library & Archives would like to be apprised of any other use such as commercial or scholarly publication, exhibition, online use, television or film broadcast, home video, or for promotional use.

It is the obligation and responsibility of the Library & Archives to the citizens of the State of Tennessee to preserve, protect, and make available for use, the State records and historical materials entrusted to its care. As such, the citizens of the state have a right to know how and when these collections are used in any published, commercial, or promotional form.

Scanners and other forms of imaging equipment belonging to researchers are not allowed in the Library & Archives. Cameras are permitted only in the open access areas of Public Service, not in the Archives and Manuscripts Room.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “…used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying or imaging order if in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

While the Library & Archives houses an item, it does not necessarily hold the copyright on the item, nor may it be able to determine if the item is still protected under current copyright law. Users are solely responsible for determining the existence of such instances and for obtaining any other permissions and paying associated fees, that may be necessary for the intended use.


The Library & Archives requires that the following credit line be used in all publications to identify that the image or document used is from its holdings:
Courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives

Specific citation of where the image or document is located (collection, box, folder, etc.) should be made in an acknowledgements section, footnote, or bibliography.


There is a fee for the use of large amounts of requested materials where extended staff time and extra material expense are incurred. Otherwise, the only fees incurred by users are for the reproduction of materials requested. See fee schedule for more information.

Faithful Reproduction

It is expected that users of Library & Archives documents and images will reproduce these items faithfully, that is, without substantial digital alteration and in the form and context inherent in the original. Adding material or color, bleeding, deletion, superimposition of text, or any other form of alteration is prohibited without express notation that the “Image has been altered from the original. ”