Endangered Archives

Legal and Ethical usage policy

The respective owners whose material is represented in the Endangered Archives Programme have kindly agreed for the inclusion of certain digitised objects from their collections to appear on this site. The collections include culturally sensitive materials, which should not be altered or used in ways that are likely to cause offence to the originating communities. This would include offence to the present-day communities and custodians of, traditional knowledge, craftsmanship, oral traditions and include but not be limited to expressions (including religious expressions), social practices, rituals, festive events, lyrics, music, stories, performances etc. embodied in the material.

Some of the archives, particularly the photographic collections, play an important role in understanding history and ethnographic documentation. These methods may now be considered outdated or inappropriate. The Programme would like to take this opportunity to apologise if any of the images cause offence.

Whilst the contributors to the Endangered Archives Programme may be the owner of intellectual property in the materials themselves or the works may be in the public domain, the Library recognises that broader rights and interests in intangible cultural heritage, including traditional knowledge and other creative expressions embodied in the materials may, under national, customary, religious and other laws or practices, reside with the traditional custodians of such materials. Therefore the prior informed consent of the owners, archival partners or other contributing third parties, as well as the traditional custodians, is required for the commercial use of part or the whole of these materials.

The Programme and the respective archives take considerable care not to distort or alter this underlying material in any way that could be deemed to be inappropriate. In the event, however, that any community or community representative feels aggrieved by the digitisation and making available of these materials, the British Library invites such community to contact it via the link below in order to resolve the matter amicably through mutual discussion.

If you are concerned that you have found material on our website, for which you have not given permission, you would like to discuss the ethical implications of, or contravenes privacy laws, is obscene / defamatory and in terms of copyright law is not covered by a limitation or exception, please contact noticeandtakedown@bl.uk or visit the Notice and Takedown Policy page for more information.

The British Library would like to thank the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for their help in creating this Ethical Usage Policy.

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