Skip to main content

Terms of Use and Copyright Information

About Calisphere

This site is managed by the California Digital Library. The content you find on this website, which includes digital items such as images, texts, and sound recordings, have been made publicly available by their contributing institutions for research, teaching, and private study.

Using digital items

Calisphere contains a wide variety of items from many different institutions. Some items are in the public domain and may be freely used by anyone; in the case of other items, the contributing institution is the copyright holder and may grant permission for certain uses; for still others, the copyright owner is a third party or is unknown and users will need to conduct their own analysis (and may need to contact a copyright holder directly).

The first step for determining the copyright status of a given item is to consult the information about the item such as rights status, creator, and date. This information can be found directly beneath the item. The contributing institution may have additional information about the item and its copyright status. Click the “contact owner” button to send a message to the institution requesting more information.

You may still be able to use items that are protected by copyright for educational, research, or other purposes. You--not the California Digital Library or the item’s contributing institution--are responsible for determining whether your use of an item is permitted by law. You can learn more about what uses of copyrighted materials are allowed by law at the American Library Association’s Copyright Advisory Network, which has tools to help explain copyright guidelines for instructors and fair use.

Linking to digital items

Anyone is welcome to view and link to any page of this site without further permission. This includes, for example, including a link to a particular page within this site from a syllabus or from your own website.

Citing digital items

When citing or using material from the site, please provide information about the item so that others can learn more about and return to the original. Include the name of the contributing institution, a link to the item, and title and date information when available. Click the "get citation" button on a given item to easily find this information. You can then use your preferred style guide for formatting the citation. The Library of Congress provides additional guidance on citing primary sources.

What you can do with item information

Metadata in Calisphere, which is the factual information describing items on the site, can be freely shared and reused. Learn more about Calisphere's metadata requirements and policies.

Know something we don't?

The sometimes obscure nature of historical, archival, and/or primary source collections can make it difficult to know all the details about the items that appear on this site. The California Digital Library and the contributing institution strive to provide as much information as is feasible, respect ethical guidelines, and adhere to legal specifications as new information about these items is made available. However, cultural heritage organizations often have limited documentation and resources available to further investigate individual items beyond the identifiable features in the sources themselves. For this reason, even significant details such as the item’s title, exact age, creator, or copyright status may not be present in the metadata record.

We welcome additional information about the digital primary sources in Calisphere. Learn more about the collections in Calisphere, including how primary source records are described; how shared community values and standards guide access to historical materials; how we work to provide responsible access to digital primary sources--and how you can help!

If you have information about an item on this site that is not represented in the item’s metadata or would like to help correct an error, please contact us.


This statement was last revised on April 13, 2021 and may be revised at any time.