Imaging Policies and Procedures

The Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) has an Open Access policy for all suitable images of SMM collections available through SMM’s electronic interfaces.

Suitability includes consideration of culturally sensitive objects, objects that are under temporary custody of the Museum, images with privacy issues, and images known to be within copyright.

Open Access images are digital surrogates of materials that are in SMM’s collections and in the public domain, for which we hold all rights, or for which we are not aware of any rights restrictions. SMM Open Access images are free of charge from SMM for anyone to download and reproduce for any use. Users do not need to contact SMM for permission to use these images.

At SMM, Open Access means the public now has the ability to  share, collaborate, remix, and reuse images of the collections. SMM promotes use of its Open Access images so that a far larger audience may benefit from SMM’s collection.

The SMM Open Access policy only applies to SMM’s collections images provided through the SMM Collections Online. It does not apply to the SMM website as a whole, other content appearing on or linked through the SMM website, the content appearing in SMM social media accounts, exhibitions, or publications. Please refer to SMM’s Legal Notice regarding access and use of the Science Museum of Minnesota website for the terms that apply to that content.

To request images of SMM collections that are not illustrated online, or to request digital files in resolutions or formats beyond those offered through the website, you may submit a request to the Registrar. Requests for new photography are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A fee to cover the cost of creating new imagery will be charged.

Please note that in some cases SMM owns only the physical object, there may be some underlying rights that are unknown to SMM. For that reason, users are ultimately responsible for determining whether the rights of third parties may be involved, and whether permission for those rights may need to be obtained by the user. SMM’s new photo fees do not include any fees due to the copyright owner. While the Registrar will assist the applicant with contact information, it is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain permission from the copyright owner. SMM assumes no liability for the use of these images if a third party makes an infringement claim.

As a courtesy to SMM and to enable others to identify and locate information about its collections, please include the following credit with any use of one of SMM’s Open Access images: “Courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota.”

SMM would appreciate a gratis copy of any publications in which the images are reproduced in order to retain record of how image reproductions are utilized. Please send to the attention of the Registrar.

Users may not suggest or imply that the Science Museum of Minnesota endorses, approves, or has participated in any projects utilizing images obtained from the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Please email Registrar, Charlie Iverson, at with questions or requests.

For publicity photos see for further information.