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Permissions and Usage

The DDOT Library is open to DDOT employees, other DC government workers, as well as outside researchers. Non-DDOT employees need to contact the librarian and make an appointment to come visit and may not take library items out of the building. 

Use and Reproduction

Photos and historical documents from the DDOT collection can be found here on our Omeka site: http://ddotlibrary.omeka.net/and on our Tumblr page: http://ddotdc.tumblr.com/.  Distribution copies on Tumblr and Omeka are scanned at 300 DPI.  If you would like one of our 600 DPI archival copies, email us the request.  Copies of items may be saved from the site at no cost for personal or non-commercial use.

If you wish to use DDOT photos for publication, an exhibition, or a type of commercial use, please contact the librarian directly for discussion about your project. 

At this time, we are not charging any fees for use of DDOT photographic images.  Please reference this site in the future for possible changes to this policy.  When material photographed from the DDOT's collections is reproduced in a publication, DDOT requests that the reproduction number (negative, transparency, or digital identification number) be published with credit to the District Department of Transportation Library, such as: "District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Library, __________." (If document number is applicable)  If you visit the library and find photos that you wish to use, we may scan them for you and send the file to you. We will not undo historical reports for scanning.  If you need an entire report, please visit and take the needed notes and/or photographs of the pages.  At this time, we will not make new physical prints, and can only scan and send digital copies.  If the photos are for non-commercial use, you may make prints through a third party.

If you wish to make an appointment to visit the library, email Kathleen.Crabb@dc.gov or call DDOT (202) 478-9122 and we will schedule a visit.


The copyright status of items can be difficult to determine, but the vast majority of photos in the DDOT collection were taken by earlier incarnations of the agency (the Department of Highways and Traffic, for example), or through a contractor hired by the agency. Prior to December 24, 1973, District of Columbia agencies were part of the federal government; therefore, the photos are classified under the public domain.  Photos from January 2, 1975 to the present belong to the District and are the city’s intellectual property.  However, both sets of photo images are created by government entities and should generally be available for public use.  For the interim year, photographs are not clearly Federal or DDOT images.  Care should be taken when reproducing images from this period.

The copyright status of DDOT photographic images may be determined by the employment status of the creator, the date material was created, the date material was first published, and/or what information accompanied the first publication.  DDOT has not determined copyright status for every item and are not responsible for determining the copyright status of the items in our collection or securing copyright permission.

Where the copyright status is known, it will be indicated to the best of our ability.  While DDOT may provide copies of our materials for research or publication, the researcher must exercise appropriate caution in using those materials and securing all necessary rights.  

Newspaper clippings: We have a handful of newspaper clippings from the Washington Times-Herald and the Washington Star. As far as we have researched, there is no known copyright renewals on these papers, and we have been advised that our digitization/education purposes would qualify as fair use. If anyone has any claims on these newspaper clippings, please do let us know! We do have a few Washington Post clippings which are not featured on the site due to copyright concerns.