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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Anthropology

Mexican masks in storage


Guidelines for Photographic Usage Fees

To help defray the administrative and materials costs associated with processing the numerous requests which the Department receives for the use of photographs, the Smithsonian Institution has allowed units to charge a use fee in addition to the cost of producing copies.

Outlined below is the fee schedule for the Department of Anthropology. Fees listed are for one-time, non-exclusive use, world rights, in one language only. Reuse of the image in a later edition or in another publication or format will be considered a new request.

With respect to electronic media, "one-time use" means that once an electronic product has been published, distributed or exhibited, you may not subsequently reformat, redesign, or otherwise alter the product in which the image appears, nor re-use the image in other products, nor allow others to use it. Digital reproductions must have a final resolution no greater than 72 dpi. Some requests for use of material on radio, television, and video may require additional clearance from other Smithsonian Units.

All requests for permission to reproduce photographs must be made on the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology Permission Request form. Terms and conditions for reproduction are specified in form SI 318a, "Photographic Policies and Changes," and in the Departmental fee schedule, below. You will be notified of any applicable fees which must be paid before permission is granted. Fees are non-refundable. When paid, the counter-signed permission form noting any fees paid or waivers plus credit-line information will constitute official authorization.

We accept checks, money orders, or credit cards for payment of photo use fees. We cannot accept cash or purchase orders.

If paying by credit card, please include card holder name, card number and expiration date. Please do not include your credit card information if you are sending the permission request form via email. Please fax your form/credit card information to 301.238.2883, or speak with us by phone at 301.238.1315.

Checks or money orders drawn on U.S. Banks should be made payable to the "Smithsonian Institution: Department of Anthropology" in U.S. Dollars. International Money orders must be payable in U.S. Dollars through a New York bank. Please send payment with your permission form to:


Daisy Njoku
Anthropology Collections & Archives, NMNH
Smithsonian Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746
Tel 301.238.1315
Fax 301.238.2883


Fee Waivers or Reductions

At the department’s discretion, fees may be waived, reduced, or publications accepted in lieu of fees for non-profit or scholarly publications. The question of commercial or non-commercial usage will be determined by the nature of the project rather than the status of the user. In general, a non-commercial publication or project reproduces an image for an educational or cultural purpose and is directed to a limited academic or professional audience with, for books, a press run of less than 8,000 copies. Upon receipt of a request for fee waiver or reduction, your request will be considered and you will be advised of the results. All requests should be placed in writing to the address listed above.


Fee Schedule

One-time Editorial Use:   $50
  Print run 4,999 and under; color or black and white; interior only (for cover see below) regardless of size, (Examples: book, textbook, magazine, exhibit catalogue, exhibition, electronic media).

One-time Editorial Use:   $100
  Print run 5,000 and above; color or black and white; interior only (for cover see below) regardless of size; includes also fee-to-access website and fee-to-access exhibition.

Cover, Advertising and Promotional Use:   $250
  Permission for advertising is discretionary and subject to review by other S.I. offices.

Special Media Use:   Fee Separately Negotiated
  Motion picture, television, video, etc.

Commercial Products


Permission is discretionary and subject to licenses which may be negotiated with the Smithsonian’s Office of Product Development and Licensing.

Fees given above are for one time, non-exclusive use, world rights, one language. Fees for world rights, all languages are 3x the one language rate.

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