Copyright Questions - Exceptions

Yale University holds certain rights to works by the creators listed below. However, their archival collections may also include the work of many other writers, artists, photographers, and other individuals and organizations in which the University does not own copyright. In all cases, scholars must contact the appropriate copyright holder for permission to publish. For more information about permissions and copyright, please refer to: Permission and Copyright.

In general, under current U.S. copyright law, copyrights held by individual authors last for 70 years after their death (see Library of Congress: How Long Copyright Lasts). Creators who have been deceased for more than 70 years are indicated with an * below.

While much of these creators’ works may now be in the public domain, other of their works may still be copyright protected. Please refer to Cornell University Library’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States for detailed information on how to determine whether a work is in the public domain.

While Yale University claims no rights in public domain works, including those works in which Yale formerly held copyright, we cannot comment on whether or not specific materials (e.g., images and texts) are in the public domain.

We will endeavor to update this page from time to time and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information described here. We recommend that scholars rely on their own research and consult with appropriate copyright specialists for determinations regarding copyright status.

Contact: or the appropriate curator with additional questions.

American Literature

  • Sandy Campbell
  • Arthur Davison Ficke* (d. 1945; certain works may be  in the public domain as of  2015)
  • Marsden Hartley Papers* (d. 1943; certain works may be  in the public domain as of  2013)
  • Mable Dodge Luhan
  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Eugene O’Neill
  • Norman Holmes Pearson
  • Alfred Stieglitz* (d. 1946; certain works may be  in the public domain as of 2016)
  • Jean Toomer
  • Donald Windham

General Collection

  • Edmond Pauker Papers
  • Jerome Zerbe Photographs and Papers
  • Norman Croom-Johnson Diaries

Western Americana

  • Richard Erdoes
  • Jacques Levy
  • Jon Lewis