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Digital Archives

Digital Archives

A service provided by the Office of City Clerk

202 C Street, Basement
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-236-7316
Hours: M-F, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If you have public research requests, please visit NextRequest portal.

Copyright and Conditions of Use

The San Diego City Clerk Digital Archives provides a corpus of materials for public use, research, and viewing as a contribution to education and scholarship. Our Digital Archive consists of various collections of materials (documents, photographs, images, audio files, etc.). Although these materials are made publicly accessible, materials in the collections are not all in the public domain.

Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. See the United States Copyright Law section below for more about fair use.

The nature of our collections, which include many materials in the public domain, means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult to determine. Whenever possible, our Digital Archive site provides information about the actual item metadata. All items within the digital archive are City records.

The City in general owns rights to most materials in the digital collections. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our digital collections.

We wish to acknowledge the City of San Diego employees who have contributed materials used in these collections. Credits are provided in the metadata of each document wherever possible.

Conditions of Use

By their use of these materials, users agree to the following conditions of use:

  • Our Digital Archive materials available on this Web site are for research use only. These materials may not be used for any commercial purpose without the explicit and written permission of the copyright holder, and in the case of materials not in the public domain, permission from the original author and publisher is also required.
  • Publication in any form, including electronic, requires written permission from the author and publisher of any materials that are not in the public domain. Note: Any unauthorized use on the Internet or Web sites or via e-mail constitutes electronic publication.
  • For purposes of private study, scholarship, and research, users may reproduce (print out, photocopy, or download) materials from this Web site without prior permission. If you are citing materials, please give proper attribution of the source.
  • Reproductions of materials on this Web site may not be made for or donated to other repositories or digital collections, nor may they be further reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder, and in the case of materials not in the public domain, also from the publishers and authors of the materials.
  • Users are not permitted to download our digital documents in order to mount them on any servers for public use or for use by a set of subscribers. Individuals and institutions can, of course, make a link to our collections and materials, subject to our conditions of use in full.

United States Copyright Law

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Four factors are considered in the determination of fair use:

  1. the purpose and character of the use including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential mark for or value of the copyrighted work

The City reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

For more information about copyright, see the United States Copyright Office Web site.