Citations, Permissions & Copyright

When do I need to provide a citation?

  • Whenever you quote from a source, summarize it or introduce a fact you learned from it, you must use a proper citation — even if it's just for a course research paper.
  • It is particularly important to include proper citations for primary sources since you are dealing with rare and unique material that cannot be found elsewhere.
  • Correct citations enable other scholars to locate the source material for further research as well as allow verification of your quotations.

How do I cite material held by the Rubenstein Library?

  • The format required by different citation styles may vary, but at the minimum you will want to include a description of the item, the collection you found it in and the name of the repository where the item is held. We recommend the following format: 

[description of item], [name of collection], David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

  • You may also wish to include box numbers or folder titles where appropriate.
  • Please refer to the Duke Libraries Guide to Citing Sources for more information about specific citation styles.

When do I need to seek permission from the Rubenstein Library? 

If you plan to use images or other materials from the Rubenstein Library in any of the following formats, it may be necessary to obtain a contract for permission for non-exclusive rights from the library: 

  • exhibition
  • film or television show
  • performance
  • presentation
  • publication (book, article, newspaper, etc.)
  • web site

If your proposed use is commercial in nature, we may charge you a fee to use materials. For information about commercial and non-commercial use of materials, please contact us.

When do I need to seek permission from the copyright holder?

  • If the materials you wish to use are not in the public domain and the Rubenstein Library does not hold the copyright, you will need to contact the current copyright holder to request permission to use the material.
  • Library staff are unable to assist with obtaining copyright permissions that the Rubenstein Library does not own. It is your responsibility to determine the copyright status of the materials you wish to use and pursue permission.

How can I get a reproduction of something the Rubenstein Library holds?