Usage Guidelines

Persons wanting to use digital state publications managed by the Montana State Library for purposes other than those protected by Fair Use should contact the publishing state agency and/or copyright holder(s) and properly cite the publication.

Part of the mission of the Montana State Library (MSL) is to administer a state publications depository library program to identify, acquire, catalog, preserve, and provide access to state publications. Thus MSL is digitizing and placing online its entire legacy print collection of approximately 35,000 state publications dating from 1874. MSL is also uploading to its repository, currently published born-digital state publications.

This project of reproducing print state publications in a digital format raises complicated questions involving the interplay between federal copyright law and the state statutes regarding state publications, public records, and public access to state information, as well as how technology affects the legal rights and duties encompassed in those laws.

Generally, no rights statements appear on the publications themselves unless the agency that produced the publication affixed a copyright or other rights statement.

Although many, if not most, state publications are available online for free from state agency web sites or in print, some agencies may claim a copyright in the materials contained in the state publications depository library program and provided through the Internet Archive. In addition, because the definition of a state publication includes any information created by or for a state agency or at state expense that is intended for public dissemination, the publications herein may include information created by third parties who may also claim a copyright in their contributions. The state library is not a party to the agreements between the individual agency and these third party providers, nor is MSL necessarily aware of their existence when the publications are contributed to the Internet Archive.

Digital state publications managed by the Montana State Library are made available for purposes consistent with Fair Use only and may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright law. Users are responsible for determining and obeying copyright and other restrictions. Persons wanting to use digital state publications managed by the Montana State Library for purposes other than those protected by Fair Use should contact the publishing state agency and/or copyright holder(s) and properly cite the publication.

Montana State Library

P.O. Box 201800
1515 East 6th Avenue
Helena MT 59620-1800
406-444-3115
TTY/TTD: 406-444-4799
mslreference@mt.gov
Hours: 8 am - 5 pm, Monday - Friday