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

Brown Bag

“Watering of the Olive Plant”: Catechisms and Catechizing in Early New England

17Oct 12:00PM 2018

Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms shaped relations of faith for church membership, provided content for ...

Author Talk

The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

17Oct 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the ...

African American History Seminar

Losing Laroche: The Story of the Titanic’s Only Black Passenger

18Oct 5:15PM 2018

Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS Titanic. The story of the Haitian Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche and his ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

This week we have a pair of Brown Bag talks, two evening programs, the first seminar in a new series, and a sold out tour. Details below: - Monday, 15 October, 12:00 PM: Examining Land ...

New Transcriptions Released for John Quincy Adams' Diary

Amid his daily whirl of diplomatic duties, John Quincy Adams paused to reflect on his latest dispatch to President James Monroe. After several rewrites, Adams had drafted a course of action that would ...

Read more from our blog

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