Connecting to Collections Care Online Community

Loan of images for digitization….and use?

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    • #134636

      We’ve recently had a spate of individuals who wish to loan their personal historic photographic slides and prints to our historical society. Rather than outright gifts, they wish for us to digitize the images they loan for our use, and then return the originals. Obviously, I would prefer to see gifts to the collection which can be used free and clear for perpetuity, but I can also see the benefit of loans as the digital images add to the historical narrative of the community and the research potential of our facility. Along that line, I have several questions for other orgs who have also encountered this…

      In your experience, how is this type of loan best acknowledged?

      To what extent were images loaned able to be used? Only for internal research by our staff/volunteers? Used by other researchers? Shared for use in exhibits?

      How were these images cataloged? Were they even able to, given that it’s difficult to assign accession numbers to items not actually in my own collection?

      What about reproduction rights?

      Appreciate any help you can provide!

    • #134637
      Anne Schaffer

      Hi Mary,

      You pose some interesting questions! I’ve reached out to our experts and hope to be able to get you an answer soon.


    • #134640
      Martha Grenzeback

      We have done this a number of times. We have a form that the lender must sign that spells out exactly what we are allowed to do with the image. For example:
      I, _________, own the items described below, and as a benefit to the study, display, exhibit, interpretation, research, preservation and documentation of Omaha history, give and transfer to the Omaha Public Library non-exclusive rights with commercial gain to the digital images for reproduction, publishing, or broadcast in print, digital, electronic, or other media of said items. Digital files shall be available for use under the same conditions and terms as the rest of the Omaha Public Library collection, including for exhibits, research, academic and commercial publication and personal use. For these purposes I provide the Omaha Public Library duplication and publication privileges. I will retain control of the physical collection except for a temporary loan to Omaha Public Library to allow for organization and scanning of the items using digital images best practices standards.

      Etc. etc. etc. plus any other restrictions or permissions (we tweak as needed). If you have a legal advisor, I would have them help you create a form that covers your situation. The main thing is to have your agreement in writing so that both the lender and the library know what is allowed.

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