Privacy, Terms of Use & Copyright Information

Information on Harvard Library's privacy policy as well as terms and of use and copyright information for e-resources and digitized content.

Harvard Library's Privacy Statement

The Harvard Library is committed to protecting the privacy of our users. Our policies conform to the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which provides this summation of the library community's commitment to privacy: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted."

The Harvard Library uses Google Analytics to gather statistics for portions of Library websites. The information gathered will be used to improve web services for patrons. Google Analytics uses a browser cookie for statistical analysis related to your browsing behavior on these websites. If you choose, you can opt out by turning off cookies in the preferences settings in your browser, or download and install Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.  More information on Google Analytics.

The Library may store personally identifiable information in conjunction with normal loan operations, personalization features of E-Research @ Harvard Libraries, or other services. Please note that the library may be obligated to release such information to federal law enforcement agents in response to a search warrant or subpoena issued in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). That law prohibits library staff from informing you that such a request has been received.

Privacy of Electronic Resource Use

The Harvard Library is equally committed to protecting the privacy of the users of our electronic resources. While Harvard does gather data about system and resource usage for administrative purposes, the use of that information conforms to the precepts of confidentiality denoted in the Code of Ethics statement.

Data gathered about each session varies according to the method of connection to the resource. The resulting logs contain information necessary for analyzing the use of resources, troubleshooting problems and improving services.

Log data is also used to distribute resource costs among Harvard libraries and faculties. These logs remain intact for approximately one fiscal year.

Our commitment to user privacy extends to our agreements with online content providers, including support for the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Privacy Guidelines For Electronic Resources Vendors. When using the services of an external provider, the privacy policies of that provider will apply.

As a means of accessing electronic resources, this commitment extends to Harvard Library's online catalog HOLLIS. Please see the HOLLIS Privacy Statement for additional descriptions of how the catalog application obtains personal information.

Digitized Content Copyright & Viewer Terms of Use

Copyright and Permissions

The material in this collection is owned or held by the Harvard Library. Some of the images, text and other content (collectively, the "Content") is protected by copyright law. In some cases, the copyright is owned by other parties, and Harvard is making the Content available to you under license or under the fair use doctrine.

The Content is provided for your personal, noncommercial teaching and research use. You may not copy, publish, post, distribute, display, perform, or otherwise make available any of the Content protected by copyright, except as may be permitted under fair use or another copyright law exemption, such as the public domain. If you wish to make any such use of the Content, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder, which may be Harvard or another party. Please contact the appropriate repository.

Some of the Content may be subject to other restrictions - for example, those imposed by a license agreement. You must comply with any other restrictions and terms of use that are identified in connection with particular Content.

In accessing the system, you agree to use the Content only in accordance with copyright law and any other identified restrictions, and you assume all liability for any copyright infringement caused by your use. Information on copyright law and fair use for members of the Harvard community.

Harvard Library Policy on Access to Digital Reproductions of Works in the Public Domain

Using the Viewer 

By using the Harvard Library Viewer (the “Viewer”) to view such materials you agree to be bound by these Terms of Use:

The Viewer is maintained by the Harvard Library, a part of the President and Fellows of Harvard College (“Harvard University”), in support of its mission to advance scholarship and teaching by creating, preserving and disseminating  knowledge.  As used in these Terms of Use, the terms “we,” “us” and “our” refer collectively to the Harvard Library and Harvard University.

Compliance with Copyright and Other Laws and Rights

The Viewer and some of the text, images, recordings and other content accessed through the Viewer (collectively, the “Content”) are protected by copyright, trademark and other laws.  The Content also may be subject to other legal interests, such as rights of publicity.  You agree to use the Content only in ways that comply with copyright and all other applicable laws, as well as with these Terms of Use, and that do not infringe or violate anyone’s rights.  You are responsible for determining whether permission is needed to make any use of the Content that you wish to make, and for obtaining all necessary permissions.  You are prohibited from accessing or using Content if doing so would infringe copyright or violate other laws or rights.

Public Domain Content

Some of the Content consists of digital reproductions of works that are not protected by copyright in the United States (“Public Domain Content”).  The Harvard Library does not assert copyright over those digital reproductions.  Subject to Section 4 below, you are free to use Public Domain Content in accordance with the Harvard Library Policy on Access to Digital Reproductions of Works in the Public Domain.  Though we may provide information on the copyright status of digitized works accessible through the Viewer, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information.  Content that is in the public domain in the U.S. may be in copyright in other countries, and vice versa.  You must determine whether Content you wish to use is in the public domain in the place where it will be used. 

Other Content

We make Content other than Public Domain Content (“Other Content”) available for your educational and scholarly use in a manner permitted under fair use or other copyright exemptions, as applicable.  Other Content includes any collection material that is not in the public domain.  If you wish to copy, distribute, display or make other uses of Other Content, beyond any use allowed under an applicable copyright exemption, you are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder.  Where we hold the copyright or have obtained permission from a third party to do so, we may allow broader use of Other Content by so indicating.  To request permission under rights held by a third party, please contact the third party.

Other Restrictions

In some cases, Content may be subject to non-copyright restrictions of which we are aware, such as restrictions imposed under a donor agreement.  In that event, we will note the restrictions in the catalog record for the relevant Content, and you may use that Content only in a manner consistent with those restrictions. 

Copyright Complaints

We respect the intellectual property rights of others.  Though we have endeavored to deliver through the Viewer only Content that we may lawfully include, copyright determinations are often hard to make.  If we have made an error, we would like to fix it.  If you believe your copyright has been violated by way of the Viewer, please notify us as provided at Report Copyright Infringements.  That contact information pertains only to notifications of claimed infringement.  Please direct all other communications concerning the Viewer to


Nothing in these Terms of Use or on the Viewer shall be construed as granting you any right or license to use any trademark, service mark or logo displayed on the Site.  You agree not to use any name, logo or insignia of Harvard University or any of its subdivisions (including the Harvard Library) in any advertising or promotional materials, or to falsely suggest any relationship between you and us, or in any manner that would infringe or violate any of our rights. 

Disclaimers; Limitation of Liability and Remedies; Indemnity

We make the Viewer and the Content available free of charge as a public service.  Your use of the Viewer and the Content is at your own sole risk.  We disclaim all warranties of any kind (express, implied or otherwise) regarding the Viewer or the Content.  In no event shall we (or any of our governing board members, officers, employees, agents or affiliates) be liable to you, in contract, tort or otherwise, for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, punitive, exemplary or other damages of any kind relating to the Viewer or the Content or your use thereof, even if the Viewer or Content is defective or we are negligent or otherwise at fault, and regardless whether we are advised of the possibility of such damages.  You agree to indemnify and hold harmless us (and our governing board members, officers, employees, agents and affiliates) from and against all claims, actions, suits, damages, liabilities and costs (including, without limitation, reasonable legal fees) relating to your use of the Viewer or the Content or your failure to comply with any provision of these Terms of Use.  The disclaimers, limitations and other provisions of this paragraph shall apply to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

Applicable Law and Jurisdiction; Access from Outside Massachusetts

These Terms of Use, and any claim or dispute that arises from or relates to your use of the Viewer or the Content, will be governed by the laws of Massachusetts, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles.  You agree that all such claims and disputes that you may have, now or in the future, will be heard and resolved exclusively in courts sitting in Middlesex or Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  You consent to the personal jurisdiction of such courts over you for this purpose, and waive and agree not to assert any objection to such proceedings in such courts (including any defense or objection of lack of proper jurisdiction or venue or inconvenience of forum).  If you choose to access the Viewer or any Content from a location other than Massachusetts, you will be responsible for compliance with all laws of that location.

Changes to Terms of Use Are Binding

We may change these Terms of Use from time to time without advance notice.  Your use of the Viewer after any changes have been made will constitute your agreement to the modified Terms of Use and all of the changes.


If any provision of these Terms of Use is held to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision, to the extent unenforceable, shall be struck, and shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.  These Terms of Use set forth the entire understanding and agreement between you and us with respect to the subject matter hereof.

E-Resources Copyright & Licensing

Users are individually responsible for compliance with these terms.

Copyright Restrictions

All Harvard users must respect the copyrights in works that are accessible through computers connected to the Harvard network. No copyrighted work may be copied, published, disseminated, displayed, performed or played without permission of the copyright holder except in accordance with fair use or licensed agreement. This includes music, movies and other copyrighted material. Harvard may terminate the network access of users who are found to have repeatedly infringed the copyright of others. Students with questions about copyrights or this policy are invited to raise those questions with any dean, tutor or academic officer. Staff supervisors and members of the Faculty are welcome to call the University's Office of General Counsel.

Licensing Restrictions

Licensed electronic resources are restricted to members of the Harvard community and to on-site users of Harvard's libraries for purposes of research, teaching, and private study. Under Harvard's licenses for electronic resources, users generally may not:

  • permit anyone other than authorized users to use the licensed materials
  • modify or create a derivative work of the licensed materials without the permission of the licensor
  • remove, obscure or modify any copyright or other notices included in the licensed materials
  • use the licensed materials for commercial purposes, including but not limited to the sale of the licensed materials
  • reproduce or redistribute licensed materials in bulk or in a systematic way
  • post content or items from the licensed materials to social networking sites