What rights and permissions are needed for re-use of American Folklife Center collection materials?
Rights over the recordings in American Folklife Center collections generally belong to the performers or their descendants/estates, or possibly to collection donors or other parties such as radio stations, or perhaps to traditional communities of origin. We will search collection and correspondence files to see if we have contact information for rights-holders. If we do not have that kind of information, we will suggest various mechanisms to allow you to make a good-faith attempt to contact any rights-holders.
In some cases, the songs/music that were recorded may still be under copyright protection, so that would entail a separate copyright search.
Photographs taken by government employees generally are free of restrictions, but individual privacy rights may suggest that a permissions search be undertaken for individuals in portrait shots, etc., just to be certain they are comfortable with their image appearing in the context you propose.
Please send us your inquiries with any information you may already have about the recording or photo in which you are interested.
Additional Ways to Contact Us
Send written correspondence to:
American Folklife Center
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20540-4610