Photographs: Use Permissions & Licensing

Subjects: How-To Guides
Tags: how-to, photos

What type of Use should I select?

Please use the information below to determine what type of use to indicate on your order.   Regardless of your user type, it is important to note:

  • The Conditions of Use apply to all types of use.
  • Regardless of type of image use, all permissions are granted on a one-time, one-project basis. 
  • There are no limitations on the language(s) of the final product and, with the exception of advertising, there are no limitations on the territory for the permission. 
  • Use fees are listed in the chart below.  These fees are waived for personal, nonprofit, and government users, but these users must still complete the permissions process to publicly use images.  

If you are still not sure what category to select when ordering or submitting paperwork, please contact us at for more information and assistance. 

Types of Image Use

  • Publication: The image(s) will be used in a print and/or electronic publication such as a book, journal/magazine article, pamphlet, calendar, newspaper, newsletter, etc. 
    • Image(s) can be used for internal illustration, endpaper illustration, and/or cover image. 
    • Includes advertising for the publication project
    • For cover images only: textual cover information (title, author, etc.) can be printed over image without an additional letter of permission. For non-cover illustrations, non-cropping alterations to the image require a letter of permission in addition to the standard permission form.
  • Publication Electronic Bundle: The publication electronic bundle level of permissions is designed for projects where use goes beyond a basic publication and its advertising.  Often these are digital products like websites, apps, resource/curriculum packages, or interactive components that are designed to complement the publication. 
    • Includes advertising for the publication project
    • Neither specifies nor limits the type(s) of media used to disseminate the publication project
  • Exhibit/Public Display: The image(s) will be displayed in a physical environment (such as a restaurant, museum, sales office, or reception area) or in a virtual environment (like a website, blog, social media, or mobile medium) that is available to the public or used in a commercial way.  
    • Includes advertising for the exhibit/display
    • Does not include selling the image(s) or using the image(s) to advertise anything else  
  • Broadcast Media Bundle: The image(s) will be used in a moving-image project like a television broadcast, film, or online/streaming broadcast.  
    • Includes advertising and selling copies of the program/film
    • Neither specifies nor limits the type(s) of media used to disseminate the moving-image project
  • Merchandise: Creation and sale of merchandise items (examples include: notecards, t-shirts, etc.)
    • Does not include re-selling prints of image(s)
    • Includes advertising for the merchandise items
    • Does not include using the image(s) to advertise any other product or service 
  • Advertising: The image(s) will be used in print, online, or in a broadcast for the purposes of advertising a product, service, event, etc. that does not otherwise use the image. 
    • Regional market: Advertising that targets a relatively small, defined, and contiguous geographic area within the United States (examples include: a metropolitan area, a single state, a tri-state area)
    • National or World market: Advertising that targets multiple regions in the United States, most or all of a single nation, or multiple nations
  • Website Only: The image(s) will be used on a website for a purpose that is not a publication, advertising, or  media presentation.

Use Fee Price List

Depending on who is using the image or what they are using it for, use fees may apply.  Generally, we do not charge fees for personal uses, or for uses by non-profits, government entities, or Minnesota media/publishers.   

The standard use fees for other uses are: Small boy reading the New York American newspaper, 1917-1918.

Type of Use Cost per Image
Publications: Under 1,000 (print and/or ebook) $15
Publications: 1,000 - 25,000 (print and/or ebook)


Publications: Over 25,000 (print and/or e-book) $100
Publication Electronic Bundle (includes website) $150
Exhibit/Public Display $30
Moving Image or Broadcast: Broadcast Media Bundle $150
Website use only (3 year license) $100
Advertising: Regional market $100
Advertising: National or World market $500


There are no MN Historical Society Member discounts on use fees.  If you have any questions about use fees, please contact the Permissions Team via email:


MNHS Reference Staff

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