Copyright Advice

General Information

  • Ownership and custody of records is different to copyright ownership.
  • The donor of an unpublished manuscript collection is not necessarily the copyright owner.
  • Copyright is generally held by the creator of the item, that is the writer of the letter (not the receiver of the letter).
  • Varying copyright conditions and ownership exists across and within donated manuscript collections. Special Collections staff are able to advise researchers of the copying conditions applied by donors for each collection and items within it. However, it is the researcher’s responsibility to seek the copyright permission from the owner if a copy is required. They can use the ‘Copyright Owner Permission Form’ to do this.
  • If the creator is deceased their estate usually owns copyright and it can often be difficult to trace the existing copyright owner.
  • A copyright creator can transfer their rights to another party such as UNSW Canberra and this may be the case in collections that UNSW Canberra has purchased.
  • Under the terms of the Copyright Act 1968 Special Collections staff can make a copy of an unpublished manuscript on behalf of a researcher if the:
    • item is open for viewing and copying under the acquisition agreement; and
    • the creator of the material has been dead for more than 70 years; and
    • researcher requires the copy for purposes of research and study.
  • Content on this website contains a variety of copyright material. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided in good faith for private study and research only and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the holder of that copyright. For enquiries relating to manuscript collections please Contact Us. Please also refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy.

John Howard Collection

  • The John Howard Collection is under Commonwealth Copyright. The National Archives of Australia has granted a licence to UNSW Canberra, enabling researchers to copy Commonwealth material in the collection for the purposes of private research.
  • If researchers want to seek a copy of an item under Commonwealth Copyright with a view to publishing, the National Archives of Australia must approve this via

Copyright Act 1968

The Copyright Act 1968 and its associated amendments are complex. Due to the nature of the material in Special Collections some items may not be able to be copied at all, or to do so requires the permission of the copyright owner. Researchers are advised to consult the copyright information on these sites: