The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist provides image reproduction services for physical materials and digital images in our collections when physical condition and copyright permits

Image Request Form

Access our fillable PDF image reproduction and use permissions form here.

Image Reproduction and Use Guidelines

OSA provides research and image-finding services for educational, interpretive, or scientific projects. Contract fees vary dependent on the researcher. Please contact the OSA Archivist or review our directory to learn about staff specialties and areas of expertise. 

Reproductions of materials from the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) may be requested for use in private study, scholarship, research, or commercial use. The OSA Archivist is responsible for granting permission for the reproduction or special use of OSA images; requests received by OSA staff members will be directed to the Archivist for processing.

OSA charges a reproduction fee based on its ownership of the physical and digital materials in its collections. This fee represents no claim to copyright any of the materials in question, although the OSA may hold copyright to some of those materials. Payment of the reproduction fee does not constitute, and should not be viewed as, permission by a copyright holder to reproduce works that are copyrighted. See Copyright Notice for Collections below.

Some items may not be reproduced due to condition, copyright, trademark, privacy, or access restrictions. The OSA Archivist reserves the right to refuse to accept a reproduction request if, in their judgment, fulfillment of the order would damage the item or violate applicable laws or restrictions.

An image reproduction and use request form must be submitted to the OSA Archivist. If a request is granted, users will be notified within ten business days. Any applicable fees must be paid prior to release. State Government Records are exempted from all special use fees per Iowa Code 22.

Use of our materials in a publication, broadcast, or display does not imply any endorsement by the OSA or any third-party rights holder.

Access Restrictions

Iowa Code 22 includes an exemption for public requests regarding archaeological site location data. OSA records burials, funerary objects, and cultural sacred objects as archaeological sites. OSA will not grant permission for reproduction or use of images that display archaeological site location data, human skeletal remains or burial pits, funerary objects, or culturally sacred objects. Inquiries regarding images of human remains for research purposes should be directed to

Image Reproduction Fees

Digital image reproductions of photographs and other imagery in the collection may be requested by submitting a reproduction request & use form. Digital image files are delivered in a .jpg file format at 150 dpi for website or digital products; 600 dpi resolution for print publication. Please review the image reproduction and use guidelines and conditions for image reproduction prior to submitting a request.

Image ReproductionCharge
Digital or Physical Image$20.00 for first image, $10.00 for each additional image*
Original PhotographyRequests for publication and non-publication quality images of objects in OSA collections can be contracted upon request at $50/hour for studio time and digital processing. 

Written permission from the OSA Archivist must be obtained for the following uses. There may be additional special usage fees based on ownership (see Definitions):

  • Print publication (run/circulation more than 1000)
  • Advertising, marketing, fundraising, promotional materials
  • Commercial decorative display
  • Website publication
  • Merchandise
  • Film or television production/broadcast (news media exempt)
  • Exhibitions and educational media
    • In-State (no charge for first 1-5 images)
    • Out-of-State (charges apply to all images)

*Per request form. Multiple images can be requested for one-time use for a single purpose. Any additional intended use(s) requires a separate form(s).

There is no charge for the first 1-5 images for in-state organizations requesting images for exhibitions or educational media.

Conditions for Image Reproduction

  1. Written permission must be obtained from the OSA Archivist to reproduce or publish images from OSA’s collections in any physical or digital form or to use them for any commercial purpose. 
  2. OSA reserves the right to charge a fee for reproduction privileges, purchase, and delivery of images in its collections. 
  3. The right to reproduce materials held at OSA is granted on a one-time basis only, and only for the purpose as listed on this permission form. Any further reproduction of this material is prohibited without the express written permission of the OSA. Images authorized for reproduction under this license agreement are not for redistribution or future re-use. After completion of production, only images necessary for reprinting the project may be retained. 
  4. The OSA does not claim to control the rights of reproduction for all materials in its collections. The publishing party: 
  • assumes all responsibility for determining if their intended use of the image(s) invades copyright, rights to privacy, or other rights; 
  • assumes full responsibility for assessing permissible uses under all other laws or conditions, such as privacy and publicity rights; and 
  • agrees to hold harmless the OSA, its officers, and employees from any action involving infringement of the rights of any person or heirs or descendants in common law or under statutory copyright. 
  1. In all cases of publication, reproduction, exhibition, broadcast, or electronic transmission, OSA must be credited as the source. Credit must also be given to the creator of the item  (e.g. the author or photographer) if known. Credit must appear on or below the image, or in a designated credit section. For web uses, providing credits via hover-view only is not acceptable. The OSA Archivist will provide a credit line.
  2. Images may not be digitally enhanced or digitally changed in any way without the written permission of the OSA Archivist. 
  3. In giving permission to publish a manuscript, photograph, or other item from OSA collections, the OSA does not surrender its own right thereafter to publish the manuscript, photograph, or item, or to grant permission to others to publish it. 
  4. If published online, the URL of the website should be provided to OSA. For hard copy or digital publications containing the materials listed on this permission form, it is courtesy (not required) to provide OSA with a complimentary copy, preferably digital (but not required).

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the reproduction, distribution, and use of copyrighted material. 

The OSA does not hold copyright for many items in our collections, and we are unable to grant or deny publication permissions for those items. To the extent that we provide available information, OSA does not warranty the accuracy of such information and shall not be responsible for any inaccurate information. Users assume full responsibility for obtaining permission from copyright holders to publish or use materials in compliance with U.S. copyright law.

Users requesting publication permission from OSA will be required to indemnify and hold harmless the University of Iowa, its officers, and employees, from any action involving the infringement of the rights of any person or heirs and descendants in common law or under statutory copyright.

Under the fair use clause of the 1976 Copyright Act, you may use the historic digital images and collection descriptions found on the OSA website for non-commercial, personal, or research purposes only. Any other use, including but not limited to commercial or scholarly reproductions, redistribution, publication, or transmission, whether by electronic means or otherwise, without prior written permission of the OSA is strictly prohibited. 

Public Domain

Items in the public domain are not protected by copyright. If an item from our collections is officially documented in public domain, users do not need to request permission to publish it from OSA. OSA staff are working diligently to identify and legally review public domain items in our archives.


  • Publication: Includes use of an item in print, electronic (online or on other media), broadcast, microfilm, or public display.
  • Reproduction: A digital or paper-based duplicate of collection materials.
  • Reproduction fee: Charged for the duplication of a physical or digital file and creation of associated documentation; does not constitute permission for special use.
  • Special use fee: Applies to materials in OSA archives that are owned by, but not generated by OSA, including gifts and donations, if those materials have documentation allowing use beyond private study, scholarship, or research.

We acknowledge the State Historical Society of Iowa, University of Iowa Libraries, and University of Nebraska - Lincoln, whose permissions policies provided inspiration for our own.