Peabody Digital Media Collections

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University is currently closed. Requests for digital media and permissions will be answered as soon as possible, but please note that there will be a delay in processing requests depending upon availability of materials.


Open Access Initiative 

We are pleased to announce that the Peabody Museum is implementing a new Open Access Initiative. This initiative strives to facilitate increased engagement with its digital collections in order to stimulate research and innovation, encourage collaboration, and promote transparency through ethical stewardship.
For the Museum, this means:
  • Providing increased access to collections information through additional content, including historical documentation, through the website’s Collections Online portal.
  • Removing cost, access, and other barriers for users to obtain digital assets including high resolution images, documents, and data for educational, scholarly and personal use purposes. 
  • Delivering these resources in a user-friendly way by improving the Museum’s online platform and infrastructure.
We’re starting things off by eliminating media and permission fees for most requests. This allows the collection to be easily accessed for educational, scholarly and personal purposes.  


The Peabody Museum will provide digital media (images, audio, and film) of its collection for publication and research uses. In certain circumstances, the Museum will allow a researcher to publish his or her own photograph of a Peabody Museum object. The procedure for seeking permission involves a review of the photograph quality and the transfer of copyright for that photo to the Peabody Museum. For information on seeking permission to publish your own photographs, click here 

To request digital media of Peabody collections or to have collections digitized, please fill out the Media and Permission Request Form. This will enable the Museum to fully understand the scope of the project and better assist the requestor.

Media fees are subject to the following policies, in addition to the Museum’s Digital Media Policy:
  • Standard processing time is three to four weeks if media is available. Requests for new digitization will take longer depending on available resources and the requestor will be provided with an estimated time frame before proceeding with the request.
  • If payment is required, it must be prepaid and made in US dollars by check or credit card. 
  • A permission form will be sent with media, including those for research purposes only. Permission for media is not granted until the permission form has been countersigned by the Peabody Museum and returned to the requestor. 
  • Permission granted is for one-time reproduction rights in one language, one edition only, unless approved otherwise by the Office of Rights and Reproductions (ORR).
  • All permissions are granted with the requirement that the requestor provides one gratis copy (tear sheet acceptable) of the publication or product to the Peabody Museum.
  • The Peabody Museum reserves the right to limit the number of copies; to restrict the use of reproduction of rare, valuable, or sensitive materials; to refuse permission for inappropriate use; and to charge different fees from ones presented on this site.
  • The Peabody Museum does not grant exclusive rights and retains its rights to publish and/or grant permissions for others to do so.

Media & Permission Fee Schedule

Media Fees

Media fees are charged when the Peabody incurs additional costs to fulfill a request. In these instances, costs that must be covered by the requestor are:
  • Request requires new professional photography, digitization of audio or video files, CT scans, or for digitization of materials larger than 11 x17 inches. See Fee Schedule below
  • Special orders or requests requiring more than 25 new scans of materials less than 11 x17 inches in size. See Fee Schedule below
In some cases, media fees may be waived or discounted for requests from descendant communities and other heritage stakeholders, Peabody Museum Research Associates, Harvard affiliates, or for large orders over 25 images.
New high-resolution digital scan for orders requesting more than 25 new scans of materials smaller than 11x17 inches as quoted
New professional photography (allow a minimum of 10 weeks) $200/image
Additional detail shots of same object $75/detail
New high-resolution digital scan larger than 11x17 inches as quoted
New audio/video file as quoted
CT scan as quoted
On-site filming of object(s), 2-hour minimum $150/hour (non-profit use)
$300/hour (commercial use)
Special order as quoted


Permission Fees

As a component of the Peabody’s open access initiative and to eliminate potential cost barriers for users, the Museum does not charge additional permission or use fees.