UC Berkeley Library

Rights and Permissions

Content section: 

Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews between a narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the historical record. Because it is primary material, oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a spoken account. It reflects personal opinion offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as such it is partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable.

Please check at the beginning of each transcript for further information on copyright, but in most of our oral histories, literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. In all cases, excerpts up to 1000 words from each interview may be quoted for publication without seeking permission as long as the use is non-commercial and properly cited.

If you would like to publish more than 1,000 words from a single interview or more than 2,500 words from a combination of interviews in one publication (e.g. an article, a book, a dissertation), you must request permission to publish from the Permission Officer of The Bancroft Library. Fees may apply.

If you would like to publish audio or video excerpts from any interview, you must request permission to publish from the Permission Officer of The Bancroft Library. Publication and duplication fees may apply.

When requesting permission to publish, please include the following in your request:

Information about the OHC material to be published:

  • Name of Interviewee
  • Name of Interviewer
  • Title of Interview
  • Link to Transcript (when available)
  • Full quotation(s) for which permission is requested

Information about the proposed publication venue:

  • Type of publication (book, article, documentary, exhibit, etc.)
  • Title of Project
  • Publisher’s name
  • Expected date of publication
  • Nature of publication (non-profit or commercial)

OHC requests that you cite its material in your publication using this format:

[Name of Interviewee]. [Title of Interview]. [Name of Interviewer]. [Date of Interview]. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, [Date of Copyright].

When publishing in a digital medium, please include a link back to the OHC homepage.

In all cases, The Bancroft Library requests that you submit a bibliographic citation of the published work in which Oral History Center interviews are included to the Bancroft Permission Officer.