Information For Researchers

Written Permission to Publish and Its Limitations

  • The Congressional and Political Research Center, the Special Collections Department and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library will grant permission for the exhibition, broadcast, or publication of unrestricted materials.   
  • Any permission granted by the Mississippi State University Libraries will fully comply with the limitations and strictures imposed by the donor of the materials.   
  • This permission is valid only insofar as the Mississippi State University Libraries, as owner or custodian of the material, has any rights in the matter.  This permission does not remove the responsibility of the author, editor, publisher, or broadcaster to guard against infringement of any rights, including copyright that may be held by others.   
  • Receipt of a permission letter does not grant, convey, or imply an exclusive right to use a particular item.  In every instance, the University fully retains its own right to publish material and reserves its right to authorize others to do so.  
  • Granting of permission is contingent upon assurance that the material will be properly cited and identified as being a part of the collections administered by the Mississippi State University Libraries.  
  • To obtain permission, submit a written description of the specific materials to be used as well as a description of the manner in which these materials will be reproduced, exhibited, broadcast, or published. The identification of an item should include the collection name, collection number, box, folder, or item number, and a brief description such as: Letter, Cammie Williams to Daniel Williams, January 15, 1878.  
  • Upon receipt, requests will be reviewed and answered in the order received.
  • Submitted contracts or publisher-generated permission forms will not be signed by Special Collections staff or other Library representative.  Permission to publish will be recorded in a letter composed by Special Collections staff.
  • The MSU Libraries collections reserve the right to refuse to grant permission to publish.  
  • Submit written requests to: or
    Special Collections Department
    MSU Library
    P.O. Box 5408
    Mississippi State, MS  39762
    Attn: Permission to Publish


U.S. Copyright law governs the making and use of most photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted materials.  Most manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and moving images created in the past 120 years are protected under the copyright law.  Transmission, reproduction, publication, or presentation (public display, performance, Internet presentation) of protected items require the permission of the copyright owners.  For more information on copyright, contact the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright status and information on copyright holders can be difficult to determine for archival and manuscript collections.  The responsibility for obtaining permissions rests with the researcher.

Collections that include twentieth and twenty-first century materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Mississippi State University assumes no responsibility.