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Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship: Honors Digital Exhibit Project

Digital humanities services, tools, and selected bibliography from WSU librarians


When creating your digital project, it's important that you respect copyright when choosing materials to use in your site. What does that mean?

  • TL;DR You cannot just find images using Google and put those in your exhibit.
  • Why not?
  • Because of international laws called copyright.
  • What is copyright?
  • Copyright is an author's reserved right to make copies of a creative work. If you were to publish an image or book, would it be ok for someone else to copy it and sell it and not share the proceeds or credit with you? That's why we have copyright.
  • How can I know if it's legal to use something I found online that I'd like to use in my exhibit?
  • Great question!
  • There's no single rule about what is and what is not "ok" to use in your exhibit, and requires you to use your own judgment.
  • For classroom assignments like this, there exists in copyright law a "fair use" exemption for using copyrighted materials for educational purposes.
  • For this project, we're going to follow the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia.
  • The guidelines specify that you can use only small portions of works, outlined in this Fair Use Table.
  • Where can I find copyright-free, public domain, or open access materials, so I don't have to worry about copyright?
  • Many cultural and educational institutions put content from their collections online, with copyright information attached.
  • Start with those. They're in the next column over. If you want to use something current or popular that is under copyright, then we can invoke fair use on a limited basis, according to the Fair Use Table.
  • How can I learn more about copyright and fair use?
  • The University of Texas Libraries have an excellent Copyright Crash Course that outlines major issues in educational contexts.
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to a librarian! Any librarian! We all know all about copyright, and can help you figure out if something is kosher for you to use or not.
  • How do I reach a librarian?
  • You can contact a librarian 24/7 by instant messenger or text message; during regular hours by email, phone, or stopping by the reference desk.
  • My email is My name is Alexandra. I'm happy to chat with you about copyright, digital scholarship, this assignment, or anything else related to the library.

Great Places to Find Exhibit Items/Primary Sources

Omeka Information