Digital Image Requests

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) offers scholars, researchers, and the general public the opportunity to purchase high-resolution digital images of materials in the museum’s collections. Requests must be secured in writing from the museum for any kind of publication or distribution of NMAI-owned or -produced images. Exceptions are described below under “Allowable Uses.”

Copyright Information
The NMAI owns the images it offers for purchase. In many instances, the museum only owns the digital image itself, and does not necessarily own copyright in the underlying object or work of art, which may be owned by an artist, artist’s estate, or other person or entity. The museum endeavors to provide information that it possesses about the copyright status for such works; however, the museum offers no guarantee that all pertinent information is provided or that the information is correct in each circumstance.

It is the sole responsibility of the person seeking permission from the museum to determine whether any additional permission, such as copyright clearance, is necessary and, if so, for obtaining the required permission and related written documentation. The museum is not responsible for any costs, claims, liabilities, or damages incurred as a result of any violation of copyright, trademark, privacy, or publicity rights, or other claims arising from use of its images.

Allowable Uses
The NMAI invites users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images on its website for personal or classroom use, without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. (See the museum’s preferred citation format below.) All other uses, except those that may be permitted by law, shall require prior written permission from the Archives Center. For further information about allowable uses of Smithsonian/museum content, please see the Smithsonian Institution Terms of Use.

Placing an Image Request
To request digital images for research, publication(s), exhibition(s), etc., please complete and submit the Digital Image Request.

Include details about intended use of the images and provide image catalog numbers, when possible. Image fees are determined by specific use cases, as specified below.

The NMAI no longer charges a fee for already digitized images from the museum’s collections.

Requests for New Object Photography
New object photography for publication-quality images costs $150 per item and requires at least four to six weeks for completion.

Proper Citations and Credit Line
Unless otherwise indicated, for all publications, both print and electronic, the credit line must read:

  • National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (catalog number).

The credit line for manuscripts must read:

  • Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Collection Title, Box, and Folder Number, Archival Collection Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.