At a glance

Special Collections & University Archives

Permission to publish

Please direct permission to publish requests to the following address:

Department of Special Collections
Attn: Permission Requests
Stanford University Libraries
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064

To be processed, all permissions requests for published materials must include the title of the item from which the selected passages were selected, the call number of the item or collection, and the page number. For manuscript or archival materials, copyright permissions requests must include the name of the collection, the collection call number, and - if applicable - the series, box, and folder number(s) in which the selected materials are housed. Failure to provide such information can greatly slow down the permissions process, and can on occasion prevent the request from being honored altogether.

Please note that Special Collections cannot grant permissions requests for printed works that are still under copyright protection; for such items, the requestor must contact the publisher. Similarly, we cannot grant permissions requests for archival or manuscript collections for which we do not hold copyright.

While we do try to provide patrons with the contact information of the holders of copyright of archival and manuscripts holdings, often we do not have this information on file, nor do we have the staffing to conduct a copyright search for our researchers. In such cases, it is the researcher's responsibility to attempt to locate the copyright holder prior to publishing.

Additional resources

An excellent source of information on current copyrights in the United States is the U.S. Copyright Office, which hosts an online database of copyrights registered with the Copyright Office. The URL for this site is Additionally, patrons can search copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963 by going to the Copyright Renewal Database:

Another resource is the WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders), maintained by the Harry Ransom Center. The Ransom Center describes the Watch Files as a "database containing primarily the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom." The URL for the Watch Files is:

For patrons seeking copyright holders of visual materials, the American Society of Picture Professionals has created a helpful website: