Ohio University

Access & Use Policy

Ask Archives and Special Collections

In-Person Research

The Documentary Photography Archive is open to all researchers. In accordance with Mahn Center policy, researchers must review, complete, and sign a registration form and provide Mahn Center staff with current photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, university identification card, other government issued identification such as a passport, or alternative form of identification with name, address, and signature). Registrations and research use are confidential.

Collections in the Documentary Photography Archive are stored off-site at the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex and research use of physical material in the Documentary Photography Archive requires an appointment with the Photo Archivist. Depending on the extent of materials required, researchers may be asked to visit the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex (205 Columbus Rd, Athens, OH 45701) Reading Room. Requests and appointments to research materials in the Mahn Center Reading Room in Alden Library (located on main campus) are reviewed and approved by the Photo Archivist.

Access to unprocessed holdings are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Photo Archivist with considerations including, but not limited to, condition, format, and privacy concerns.

Reference Services

General reference information such as inquiries about holdings and use are provided at no charge.

Researchers looking for more detailed information from the collections are encouraged to visit the archives or arrange for a private researcher.

For researchers unable to visit, limited quantities of reference material (low-resolution) may be digitized with the approval of the Photo Archivist. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and contingent on several factors including, but not limited to, size, condition and preservation concerns, copyright, publicity rights, donor agreements, privacy, and staff and technological availability.

All requests are delivered via email and downloadable via the university’s transfer platform. The archive is unable to support any other transfer or copying such as, but not limited to, file transfer to CD, DVD, hard drive, or photocopying and printing.

Digitization

Researchers are encouraged to use digital cameras and other mobile devices to make copies of archival material for reference and fair use purposes. Scanners are not permitted.

Specifically identified material may be digitized by the Libraries’ Digital Initiatives department at high resolution for specified research and use. High-resolution duplication of archived materials is requested by submitting a scan request form. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and contingent on several factors including, but not limited to, size, condition and preservation concerns, copyright, publicity rights, donor agreements, privacy, and staff and technological availability.

All requests are delivered via email and downloadable via the University’s transfer platform. The archive is unable to support any other transfer or copying such as, but not limited to, file transfer to CD, DVD, hard drive, or photocopying and printing. Scans are delivered as a 300 DPI high quality jpeg unless requested otherwise for publication.

Rights & Permissions

Individuals wishing to use (publish, present, display, broadcast, or exhibit) material held within the Documentary Photography Archive must obtain written permission from the Archive via completion of a use agreement.

All use requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are contingent on several factors including, but not limited to, copyright, publicity rights, donor agreements, privacy, and preservation concerns. The use agreement does not imply that the Documentary Photography Archive holds all rights or that the agreement clears all rights. It is the individual’s responsibility to obtain all use and copyright permissions, including instances of multiple rights.

The Documentary Photography Archive is unable to provide contact information for rights clearance.

Completed use agreements are for one-time use unless stated otherwise. Use of the material in any other publication or project requires additional and/or new permission from the Documentary Photography Archive.

Use requests are subject to standard Mahn Center use fees for the ongoing support and preservation of the collections.

Loans

In exceptional cases, material may be temporarily returned, or “loaned,” to the donor or donating department/organization. In such cases, a loan agreement will be completed and signed by both the lending archivist and the person requesting the special loan.

Material is not loaned to individuals (other than the donor or donating department/organization), including Ohio University staff and faculty, for research, instruction, or any other purpose. Individuals wishing to incorporate archival material into their instruction or research may arrange a visit, including class visits and tours to the Documentary Photography Archive and/or Mahn Center, and/or work with the Photo Archivist to provide digital access.

In extremely rare instances, select material may be temporarily loaned to other Ohio University departments and local and/or regional institutions for educational exhibit purposes. Whenever possible, reproductions of materials will be provided in lieu of original material. Loans are considered on a case by-case basis and contingent on several factors including, but not limited to, copyright, publicity rights, donor agreements, privacy, preservation concerns, and staff and technological availability.