The National Postal Museum is committed to making its collections accessible and available to researchers, publishers, and the general public in support of scholarship, education, and personal enrichment.
High-resolution digital images of many objects in our collection can be downloaded for nonprofit, commercial, and/or personal use. Images meeting the criteria for such use are marked with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, and are available for download on the National Postal Museum website.
In keeping with the Smithsonian’s move toward an open access policy for its digital images, the National Postal Museum does not charge for the use of any digital images. Fees may still be required for additional services related to digital imaging, e.g. generating new or higher resolution images to meet a user’s need. Such fees are determined on a case by case basis.
The museum requests a complimentary copy of publications in which museum images are published. The museum requests that its digital assets be used with full attribution to the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Museum website text can be used without cost. The museum, however, does request that the text be used with full attribution given to the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Permission to use copyrighted material (photographs/designs/artwork/etc.) does not automatically transfer with your order if copyright is held by another institution. For example, the U.S. Postal Service holds the copyright for all U.S. postage stamps issued after January 5, 1978. Permission to use images of any stamps issued after that date should be obtained (before use) from the U.S. Postal Service Licensing Department. Also, some photographs on the museum website are copyrighted by the Library of Congress or other institutions. Before using those images, permission should be obtained from the appropriate institution.
Term of Use
Questions and other requests can be addressed to NPMImages@si.edu.