Fair use is a copyright principle that allows users of information to be able to use intellectual property while still enabling the creator to be able to own and profit from their work. If you are using an intellectual work for any of these reasons then you are more than likely falling under the fair use principle of copyright.
These reasons include: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.
What counts as “fair use” of something depends on these four main factors:
For more information on fair use check out Stanford University's guide to Fair Use.
When citing archival materials, focus on helping the reader identify what is being cited and where it is located; thus include the following elements:
Repository where the item is held. Example: Brown University Archives.
Collection in which the item is found. Example: James Manning papers.
Series in which the item is found. Example: Letters and manuscripts of James Manning.
Folder title in which the item is found (if available). Example: Manuscripts.
The document itself, including page, section, or date information, where necessary. Example: A list of subscriptions due to College, undated.
Unless otherwise designated, the rights of unpublished works reside with the author during his/her lifetime and with his/her heirs for 70 years after death. Thus, the gift or sale of collections does not implicitly transfer copyright to a repository. The period protecting copyright for unpublished anonymous works and works for hire is 120 years from the date of creation.
Upon expiration of these time periods, unpublished works pass into the Public Domain (© 2004-9 Peter B. Hirtle. Last updated 5 January, 2009).