Permission to Use

The vast majority of the images contained in the California State Library collections that were produced or published prior to 1926 are public domain images. The library does not research each image in its collection to determine or guarantee freedom from copyright. The library can claim only physical ownership of the material. Materials may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests, including possible rights of privacy. All responsibility for questions of copyright liability and release violations that may arise in the use made of reproduced material is assumed by the user. For more information, please consult our copyright page. To obtain our permission to use an item in the collection, please email us the following information:

Information Needed

  • List of images for which you are requesting permission to use,
  • an explanation of how the materials will be used,
  • the publisher or sponsor,
  • the print run and/or production numbers,
  • a circulation estimate,
  • whether the material is being used for non-profit purposes.

In lieu of an e-mail, you may also send a letter to:

California History Room
California State Library
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001


Materials obtained from the California State Library must be published unaltered and in their entirety unless the alterations are approved in advance and in writing by the library. The library gives no exclusive rights for the use of its materials. Permission is granted for a one-time use only. It is the user's responsibility to determine copyright.

Right to Refusal

The California State Library reserves the right to refuse permission to publish or exhibit materials if, in its judgment, publication or exhibition would involve violation of copyright law, would cause irreparable damage to valuable and fragile originals, or for any other reason.


At present, we charge no commercial usage fees for use of our materials.

In-Kind Donations

The library requests and gratefully accepts donations of publications or media containing materials from its collections.