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Rights & Reproductions


Imaging Studio at the Boston Athenaeum. Photo by Lovely Valentine. 2016.Reproduction and licensing fees offset a small portion of the costs associated with processing, preserving, and servicing the Boston Athenaeum's collections. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Please allow 4-5 weeks for processing.


The Boston Athenæum requires that all requests the use of images of materials in its collections be made in writing through our ONLINE REQUEST FORM

When a request is approved, a Permission Form will be sent to you for your signature, along with an invoice for approved fees. Both the signed Permission Form and payment of the invoice must be received before images are released or reproduction rights granted. Payment may be made by check or money order, in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank; by credit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express; or by wire transfer.


Fees are charged for the purchase of digital scans. Additional fees are charged to reproduce an image. These fees are based on the nature of the use. A quote will be made to you upon receipt of a completed request form. Additional charges for new photography and rush orders may apply to some orders.

Requesting Images and Reproduction Rights

Everyone must first register to make requests: Boston Athenæum Special Collections Registration

Requests can be made directly from either:

Athena, the online catalog, lists what the Athenæum owns: its holdings of circulating books, journals, and newspapers as well as special collections like rare books, manuscripts, tracts, photographs, etc.

This searchable image repository offers over 13,000 partial and fully digitized items from the Boston Athenæum's collections of rare books, prints, photographs, maps, archives, etc. It is a dynamic database with new materials added frequently.

If you wish to request an item from among the Athenæum's Paintings & Sculpture Online, submit a manual request via "New Request" in the online system.

If you need help making a manual request or cannot find an item in any of the catalogs, please consult a reference librarian:

Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and permission to reproduce is given at the discretion of the Boston Athenæum.

If you have questions about this process, email