The University of Westminster Records and Archives has an ‘Open by Default’ policy for digital images of collection items. This means: 

  • We no longer charge a fee for the re-use of our digital images.1 
  • With the exception of images containing sensitive content, most images not in copyright or subject to the Data Protection Act will be made available to download at high resolution for free under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA licence. 

All images published on the archive catalogue can be downloaded at low resolution for personal research purposes.   

If you wish to obtain a high-resolution image for publication, please email a completed Image Licensing Request form to Please note that we may have to charge a fee to cover the costs of new photography, but this will be made clear at the point of order.  

Creative Commons Licensing 

Most digital images of University of Westminster collections material will either have a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA licence or no licence. The licence status defines what you are allowed to do with the image. 

CC BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons Attribution) 

The CC BY-NC-SA licence is applied to photographs of all material which is not restricted by legislation (copyright or data protection).  

This license allows you to: 

BY (Attribution): Copy, distribute, display and perform our copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if you give us credit in the way we request: 
© University of Westminster Archive 

NC (NonCommercial): Copy, distribute, and perform our work – and derivative works based upon it – but for non-commercial purposes only 

SA (ShareAlike): Distribute derivative works only under a licence identical to the licence that governs our work. 

For the avoidance of doubt, the University of Westminster Records and Archives considers the following to be commercial activities (this list is not exhaustive): 

  • Anything that is in itself charged for, including textbooks and academic books or journals 
  • An individual’s website or blog that is used as a platform to promote or conduct commercial activities (for example to sell products created by or services provided by such an individual) 
  • A commercial organization’s website or blog, including trading arms of charities 
  • Freely distributed leaflets or merchandise that promote goods or services 
  • Corporate stationery or any business communications such as annual revies 
  • Free-entry events, presentations or lectures promoting a product or a service 
  • Displays in public places offering or promoting a product or service, such as use in a shop, restaurant, hotel, public bar or property showroom 

The University of Westminster Records and Archives considers the following to be non-commercial (this list is not exhaustive): 

  • Use in free-entry, educational lectures (or in activities promoting free-entry lectures) 
  • Promotion of any non-commercial activity, such as a poster advertising a bursary 
  • Reproduction within a thesis submitted by a student at an educational establishment (an electronic version of the thesis may be stored online by the educational establishment as long as it is made available at no cost to the end user) 
  • Use in websites as long as they are informational, academic or research-orientated and not linked to any commercial activity 
  • Display within a free-entry public space (including museums, libraries and galleries), as long as the use is not promoting a product or a service 
  • Educational and classroom use within an educational establishment or in the course of formal instruction 

Material not available under a CC licence 

Some material cannot be attributed a CC licence, for example: 

  • The University of Westminster does not own copyright for the original item, for example: 
    • Images of artwork where the artist has given permission for a digital image to be displayed on the University websites, but the image may not be used for any other purposes without permission; 
    • Images of archival material where the copyright holder has given permissions for a digital image to be displayed on the University webpages, but the image may not be used for any other purposes without permission; 
    • Digital images which were taken by an external photographer, and copyright for the digital image remains with the photographer. 
  • The original material contains sensitive information/imagery 
  • The original material contains personal information, covered by the Data Protection Act 

Staff will advise you if the image you wish to re-use is not available under CC licence and if permission to use the digital image can be granted.  Where appropriate, they will direct you to the copyright holder for the original work. 

Statement of Public Task 

The University of Westminster Library and Archives Service is subject to the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (PSI Regulations). 

The public task of the University of Westminster Library and Archives Service, under the PSI Regulations, consists of the principal activity outlined below: 

  • To provide permission to use digital copies of images, documents, and objects in our collections for re-use in publications or through other media. 

Re-use of the digital copies can enhance teaching, research, instruction, publication, and public understanding and enjoyment. 

Requests for re-use of information 

If you wish to apply for access to our information under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations please see our Image licencing policy. 

The PSI Regulations only govern the re-use of information. To obtain copies of personal data, or other information held by the University of Westminster, please make a Subject Access Request or a Freedom of Information Request

Right to refuse 

The University of Westminster Library and Archives Service reserves the right to refuse requests for re-use of information under the Directive where valid exceptions apply.  Should this occur, the reason for refusal will be clearly explained, along with details on how to appeal that decision. 

Takedown Policy 

All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that content published in the does not infringe any person’s intellectual property rights, or applicable UK laws. However, if you believe that content in any of these sites may be illegal, please contact the Head of University Records and Archives who will review the complaint and take appropriate action.   

Please see our Notice and Takedown Policy and Procedure for further information.  

1 Please note that this does not apply to the Westminster Menswear Archive’s high resolution Styleshoot imagery which is subject to a fee.  Please see the Menswear Archive webpages for further information. 

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