Copyright and Northern Territory Library Content

How to copy and re-use content from the Northern Territory Library Collections 

This information on copyright does not constitute legal advice. Rather it is intended to provide information and guidance on copyright and copying material in library collections. The client shall indemnify the Northern Territory Library against any action taken by the copyright owner(s) against Northern Territory Library arising in any way whatsoever from the publication of or use of materials by or on behalf of the client where the client has not sought copyright clearance.

People looking for books on shelves

Northern Territory Library is committed to providing the greatest possible access to material in our collections to support creativity, innovation and the development of new knowledge through research. You are welcome to copy and re-use material from the Library’s collections provided you meet the requirements of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and any copyright amendments, and any special requirements that may apply to material that is rare, unique or culturally sensitive.

Where material is protected by copyright and, where applicable, moral and cultural rights, it is the responsibility of the client to obtain copyright and cultural clearance, where necessary. 

The Copyright Information Guide for Library Users provides a guide to copyright in library collections.

Copyright owned by the Northern Territory Library

Material published in our digital library, Territory Stories, including information, text, images, sound and audio visual material, is protected by copyright and, where applicable, moral and cultural rights. Many donors generously assign copyright in this material to the Northern Territory Library. When using material from Territory Stories we ask that you acknowledge the Northern Territory Library.  

Because copyright ownership is distinct from physical ownership, the Library does not own copyright for all of the material in its collections. Copyright owners can transfer their copyright to the Library.  Many donors generously assign copyright for their material to the Library at the time of donation or on a specified later date.  Where the Northern Territory Library or Library & Archives NT is identified as the copyright owner you are free to use this material under the Creative Commons Licence CC BY 4.0, as long as you acknowledge the sources of the content.


Access Conditions

In undertaking to collect material the Library acknowledges that there may be other legal restrictions, such as privacy, cultural rights or donor agreements, which will limit our ability to provide unrestricted access and use of some material.


Acknowledgement should include the title, creator and copyright holder of the work, and the phrase Northern Territory Library, followed by the Collection name and the Library’s unique identifying number e.g. Northern Territory Library, Murry and Grace Colling Collection, PH0861/0138. 

If you are using an image online we also ask that you provide a link back to the image in our collection. 

If you use or adapt our material either online or in another published format, we would love to hear from you on social media using the tag #madewithNTL

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Creative Commons Licenses 

The default rule in the Copyright Act is that copyright in a work is owned by its creator or maker.  Creative Commons provides a set of licences to help creators of work identify how others may re-use their work consistent with the rules of copyright, releasing some rights, while retaining others and enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge and facilitates sharing and discovery of creative works.

Unless otherwise stated content published on this site, and in Territory Stories material is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license 4.0 Licence (CC BY 4.0) where:

  • copyright is owned by the Northern Territory Library or Library & Archives NT
  • copyright is owned by the Northern Territory Government
  • explicitly stated in the description 

Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, remix and build upon this content as long as you acknowledge the source of the content.

To find out more about Creative Commons Licences click  here.


Donor Licences

The Library accepts donations from individuals and organisations to add to our collections. Donations include a wide variety of material including papers and personal records documenting a family or individual history, photographs or photograph albums, records of a business, organisation or religious group and other manuscript material.

In some instances copyright over the material may be owned by a third party, the donor may not have copyright over the material being donated.  The Donor License in our Deed of Gift  set out arrangements over the ownership, use of, and copyright in the donated material.  Material donated under a Donor License may be copied for non-commercial use, research and/or study proposes as long as you acknowledge the source of the content and the copyright of the Donor.  

There are some individual projects that have special licence  agreements. Where the project licence permits, materials are available for use and any restrictions reflected in the material description.  

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Material in the Public Domain

We support the principle that public domain works should be publicly accessible and available for re-use.  Public domain works are commonly referred to as ‘out of copyright’.  Our collections contain a large number of public domain works that are no longer protected by copyright because the duration of copyright has expired: for example any photographs taken before 1955 in Australia are now out of copyright.

We encourage the ‘free’ use of public domain collection materials by members of the public for reuse, without prior permission, for any purpose – not just for personal, research or study uses - to promote greater opportunities for innovation, engagement, creativity and deeper understanding of our collections.
This undertaking acknowledges that there may be other legal restrictions, such as privacy, cultural rights or donor agreements, which will limit our ability to provide unrestricted access and use of some public domain material.

Use should respect any rights. We would appreciate acknowledgement of both the creator and the source.

More information on the Creative Commons Public Domain mark is available here.