Image Permissions

It is necessary for users to obtain formal permission (a license) for the visual reproduction of all material held in the MHS collections. All licenses are for one use only. The MHS does not grant open-ended or multi-year licenses. Each instance of use must be separately requested through Portal1791. All reproductions must credit the MHS as the source of the image.

Requests for images and payment of reproduction fees do not constitute or imply permission to reproduce images. 

Licensing Fees

Click here to view the current licensing fees for the use of images of materials held in our collections. Please review this information before submitting your licensing request.

Please note that all licensing fees are assessed on a per-image basis and are independent of reproduction fees. For more information on the cost of purchasing high-resolution images, see High Resolution Images.

Exempt Categories

The following uses are exempt from the formal licensing process:

●     Academic assignments, other than theses/dissertations

●     Lectures, presentations, and classroom use

●     Approved press requests (contact the Vice President of Communications & Marketing)

  • Use of images from the MHS website on freely accessible (non-subscription) webpages and in the social media environment (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Please use the credit line "Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society" where the image appears. 

Submitting Requests

Licensing requests may be submitted with high-resolution image orders, or may be submitted independently (as with use of images previously purchased). Whether submitted with an image order or independently, all requests should be made through Portal1791 using the Reproduction/Use Permission request form.

Use ABIGAIL, the collection guides, or online resources to locate the item or items you wish to license and submit a separate request for each item. In some cases, there may only be a collection-level record for the material and you must initiate a request for the collection and then indicate in the Reproduction/Use Permission request form what specific item you wish to purchase and/or license. The reference librarian will review each request and provide an invoice within Portal1791 for approval and payment.

Upon payment of the applicable reproduction and/or licensing fees the images and/or licenses will be made available within Portal1791 for access and download.

License requests placed independent of image orders are typically processed within five business days. Licensing requests made in conjunction with high-resolution image orders are made available upon image delivery. If you are concerned about meeting a submission deadline, please indicate a “must have by” date so that we may determine if we can accommodate your needs.

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Conversation

Boston in Film: From Eddie Coyle to Manchester by the Sea

9Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE The 1973 film The Friends of Eddie Coyle was not a box office smash but it became a cult classic and was particularly popular among film makers and film ...

Author Talk; Online Event

These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson

15Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE Emily Dickinson’s interior world was extraordinary. She loved passionately, was hesitant about publication, embraced seclusion, and created 1,789 ...

Brown Bag; Online Event

Anatomical Acts: Exploring the Intersections between Popular Anatomy and Popular Theatre in ...

16Jul 12:00PM 2020

In this informal presentation and Q&A, Mia Levenson, a short-term research fellow at the MHS, will contextualize her research as the intersection of three historical ...

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Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

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