Digital Collection Policy

Digital Collection Policy

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) offers an online collection of digitized photographs related to the history of Huntsville and Madison County. This collection is intended for public access. Images and other material from the collection may not be reproduced without permission from HMCPL. It is the responsibility of the user to provide accurate attribution to HMCPL. Some of the material may be copyright protected. Proper credit must be given to the creator if known. The preferred citation is as follows: Courtesy of HMCPL Special Collections: Please refer to the ‘Consent for Usage of Materials from HMCPL Special Collections’ form.

HMCPL is not responsible for the improper or illegal use of any copies of materials from its collections.  It is the user’s responsibility to guard against the infringements of rights that may be held by others and for clearing reproduction rights and copyright restrictions.  HMCPL does not claim to control copyright of all of the pictorial, textual, audio or video materials in its collections.  Special Collections staff will provide such information as the library has, as a service to aid patrons in determining appropriate use of an item.  However, that determination ultimately rests with the patron.  HMCPL provides these materials for non-profit, educational, personal or scholarly purposes.  Transmission or reproductions of protected items beyond that allowed by “fair use,” as defined by courts of competent jurisdiction, requires the written permission of the copyright holders. 

HMCPL gives no exclusive rights for the use of its material.  Permission is granted for a one-time use only.  Any subsequent use of an image requires another written permission of the Library and any other copyright holders. 

HMCPL does not allow its images to be used out of context or modified in any way that affects the historical integrity of the image.

The nature of historical, archival and manuscript collections often make it difficult to determine the exact copyright status of an item. Whenever possible, HMCPL provides all known information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the information or metadata associated with digital items. HMCPL provides this information to assist users in determining the copyright status of an item. Ultimately, it is the user’s responsibility to use material according to the terms governing its use.

Although HMCPL attempts to provide thorough descriptive information for each item digitized to assist users in determining the historical importance and cultural context of an item, on occasion it has incomplete information about authors, publishers or other persons associated with the materials in its collection. HMCPL welcomes any comments from anyone who may have additional information about any of the items in the collection, especially copyright owners who are not properly identified, so that appropriate information may be provided to researchers and teachers in the future.


Collections Disclaimer

This material may be protected under U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized materials for private study, scholarship or research. Though HMCPL has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

For questions concerning copyright information or permission to use HMCPL Special Collections materials please send an e-mail to