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Reproductions & Permissions

The goal of the Maryland Center for History and Culture’s Digital Collections Portal is to expand access to our collections – for students, educators, and members of the public throughout the state of Maryland, and around the world.

All digital materials accessible through the Digital Collections Portal are available for study, scholarship, and research. We also encourage the use of out-of-copyright materials available through the Portal, along with a credit to the Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) to help others find the same or other materials within the collections. For high-resolution copies of images, please review the “Overview for Digital Reproductions” section below. 

Permission to Publish

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) will supply permission to publish from collection items only when MCHC is the copyright holder of those materials. If MCHC is not the copyright holder, you do not need, nor can we supply, permission from MCHC simply as the physical owner of the material.

For more on permission to publish, click here.

Overview of Digital Reproductions

You can request a digital reproduction image file, or permissions, for an item in the digital archive through the Digital Collections section of our website.

For undigitized items, not found in the Digital Collections, please follow these steps:

  • Verify an item’s availability and details by contacting either the Museum or Library (depending on the item type) to confirm that the item in question is held by MCHC. An object identification number, or equivalent, will be provided, which is required for filling out the Imaging Services order form. See the “How to Obtain Verification and Item ID” section below.
  • Fill out an Imaging Services fillable pdf form.
  • Send the completed form to or 610 Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201.
  • If paying by check, send payment only after receiving an invoice from Imaging Services Department.

Additional Information and FAQs

Fee Schedules for digital reproductions and permissions

The Imaging Services Department offers digital reproductions (image files) of items in the collections and grants permission to publish any image files obtained through the department. Fees for reproduction and usage permissions help us cover labor costs for technical services. Maryland state sales tax is applied to all orders except those where a nonprofit tax identification number is provided on the order form. All fees are charged per image file.

How to Obtain Verification and Item ID

Contact the Special Collections Department of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library by emailing for information on manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, prints/broadsides, sheet music, and more.

Read more about the library collections.

Contact the Museum Department for information about three-dimensional objects (glass pieces, paintings, textiles, etc.) and unique works on paper (architectural drawings, blueprints, etc.), by completing the Museum Request Form.

Read more about the museum collections.


In receiving a reproduction from the Maryland Center for History and Culture, the patron assumes all responsibility for infringement of copyright or other rights in the use of the material. MCHC makes no warranties or representations and assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any claims against the applicant or MCHC by artists, their agents, estates, or any parties in connection with the reproduction of items in the collections of MCHC.

Digital materials and images may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by MCHC. In obtaining a reproduction from MCHC, the responsibility for determining the rights status of materials, making an independent legal assessment of the material, and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with any person intending to use the material. The user is responsible for obtaining all required permissions from copyright holders, and other rights holders, before publishing, distributing, or in any other way using a protected item beyond that allowed by fair use.

Terms of Use

  • We encourage you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyright materials as defined by copyright law.
  • Only original photographic/digital materials of in-copyright material supplied by the Imaging Services Department at MCHC may be used for reproduction and publication. Use of photo-copied, watermarked, library reference, and cell phone images is prohibited.  
  • Possession of an in-copyright image from MCHC does not constitute permission to use or publish the image.
  • MCHC highly encourages citation of images from MCHC collections to facilitate discovery for future researchers. Credit may be given to the Maryland Center for History and Culture in a line adjacent to the image or in a place devoted to credits stating: “Maryland Center for History and Culture, Object ID.” Link to Citation Guide PDF.
  • The permission to reproduce, given by MCHC, may not be transferred to any third party. All photographic materials, their derivatives or digital files will not be transferred to any other user by the purchaser. 
  • If using a cropped detail of an image, the word “Detail” must appear in the image caption. 
  • If your publication pertains to Maryland history or culture we highly encourage you to donate a printed copy of your publication to our library. Mail a copy to the H. Furlong Baldwin Library, 610 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201 or email
  • MCHC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to deny permission to reproduce an image to any applicant without explanation. 

MCHC reserves the right to change these Terms of Use without notice; changes shall be effective upon posting. Please check back for updates. Failure of MCHC to enforce any of these terms shall not constitute a waiver of such terms. 

Digital Reproductions for Personal Reference vS. Commercial/NonProfit Use

If you are indicating that you would like to use an image for personal use, this means that you agree to refrain from publishing or publicly exhibiting the image in any way. Permission to publish is only granted by requesting permission for your intended use through the Imaging Services Department. In an example: requesting an image from Imaging Services for display in your home is considered personal use.

Using an image for reference purposes is considered personal use of the image. If it is determined that the image will be included in a publication/video/website/etc., a new order for permissions should be submitted. Possession of an MCHC image does not constitute permission to use or publish the image.

The Imaging Services Department provides permission to use images for these publication types:

  • Book/eBook
  • Magazine/Catalog
  • Newspaper/journal/brochure publishing
  • Exhibition/display/presentation
  • Streaming video/television broadcast/film production (both educational and commercial) /recorded video (VHS)/DVD/Bluray
  • Website/blog (images are never to be posted to genealogical databases or networks)
  • Advertisement/bulk reproduction

If you do not see a category that matches your final use category, please email

Special pricing and discounts are available for nonprofit organizations. Please provide a valid EIN tax ID to receive a discount.

The Imaging Services Department generates contracts that specify the conditions of use of any image from the collection. Imaging Services will not sign contracts produced by outside parties.

Turnaround time

The standard turnaround time for an order is 10–14 business days. Orders requesting 10 images or more, or any orders requiring new photography, may need additional processing time. Choosing to pay by check will increase the turnaround time. The Imaging Services Department provides images and permissions agreements only after payment has been received.


Only send payment after receiving, and approving, the preliminary invoice of charges created for you by the Imaging Services Department. Digital reproduction files or permissions are provided only after MCHC has received and confirmed payment for your order. Additional processing time may be required after payment has been received.

Rush services

Rush service is available for a 100% surcharge. Processing occurs within 3 business days. Payment is due in advance of delivery. To request rush service for your order, please confirm your request with the Imaging Services Department. Not all materials are eligible for rush processing.

new photography

It can take up to five weeks to complete an order that requires new photography. A staff member will notify you if the item you have requested requires new photography. New photography fees apply. The Imaging Services Department will send a preliminary invoice estimating all charges associated with your order. The invoice is both a list of charges and serves as a draft of the permission contract. Photographing/digitization begins once your contract has been e-signed. Your signature indicates your approval of the charges and contract.

invoicing and delivery

After receiving your completed order form, the Imaging Services Department will send a non-binding preliminary invoice via PDF which lists all charges/fees for your order and includes a preview of your contract. The PDF is sent via email for previewing and e-signature. The contract is binding after e-signing. Links to allow downloading of purchased image files are delivered after payment is received and confirmed.

Other Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. Do you provide printed reproductions of items in your collection?

No, Imaging Services only provides digital reproductions of items in the collection. You may take the digital files to a photo lab or major store to make prints of the digital images.

2. I would really like a reproduction of a photograph in your collection. The image I like looks faded and has a spot on it. Could you retouch the photographs that I requested?

The Imaging Services Department uses best practices for digitizing historic items in the collection to maintain the integrity of each item. We do not retouch or significantly alter any photographs. This is to reduce the loss of pixels (which reduces the size and quality of the reproduction). The Imaging Services Department does not provide retouching services.

3. Can I just buy a digital reproduction for use in my home or office?

Yes, that would be considered personal use. Please check the “Digital Reproduction” box on the first page of the order form and ignore the “Image Permission Information” section. You only need to purchase permission if you would like to publish the image.

4. May I put a Maryland Center for History and Culture-owned image on my personal blog or social networking page?

Yes, you can. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Identify the author/artist of the image and the item ID (if included in the record) and credit the MCHC using the authorized credit line: Courtesy of the Maryland Center for History and Culture.
  • Do not use the image to promote, advertise, or sell your own products or services or for any other commercial and unauthorized purposes.
  • Do not publish the image in a book, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc.

Please see the Terms of Use for more information. Contact the Imaging Services Department at if you are unsure if your intended use violates our terms of use.

5. I purchased a digital image from the Imaging Services Department in the past. I would now like to publish it. How do I obtain permission to publish?

Please fill out the Imaging Services order form and check the “Image Permission Only” box on page one of the form. If you happen to know the invoice number of your image purchase or the year in which you purchased the image, please provide this information to the Imaging Services staff.

6. I found an image credited to the Maryland Historical Society or the Maryland Center for History and Culture. May I use this image in my publication?

No, only images provided by the Imaging Services Department may be used for publication.

7. A friend purchased a Maryland Historical Society or Maryland Center for History and Culture image and let me have it. Can I use this image in a publication or on the web?

No, you must request the image and/or permission directly from the Imaging Services Department.

8. I purchased a black and white image from the Imaging Services Department and I would like to change the color. Can I use a tinted image in sepia in my publication?

Do not use an edited or altered image file in a publication without the prior approval of the Imaging Services Department. The best way to have an image approved is to send a sample of the altered image to

9. Can I crop the image I purchased from the Imaging Services Department to a specific part of the reproduction for my publication?

Yes, with approval from the Imaging Services Department. To obtain approval, provide a sample of the cropped image to The Imaging Services Department will reply to approve the image or suggest changes. If the change is to create a “detail” image, please include the word “detail” in your description of the work.

10. I am ready to make a request and plan on paying by check. Should I send my check along with my order form?

No, do not send check payments with your paperwork. You will receive an invoice from our department, after which you may send payment. We ask patrons to wait to send payment to ensure that the check is made out to the correct amount.