Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Attention ESVA patrons:

The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives’ site is moving soon and adopting an open access approach to digital image sharing. Once we have transitioned to the new site in 2021, we will no longer charge for our high-resolution digital images or usage fees (note that we do not hold copyright to all the images in our collections and you will still need to obtain permission for those which we do not own).

If you are working on a long-term project, we advise you to wait until the migration is complete so that you may obtain our copies for free. If you cannot wait, email us at nbl [at] aip.org and we will do what we can to assist you. We will not be offering refunds for past purchases.

For more information, please visit our FAQ page on the Ex Libris Universum blog. 

Purchasing Photographs and Digital Scans

All orders for digital scans of the photographs in this collection, and for the associated use fees for permission to use in publications or productions, should be placed online.



Use Fees and Permissions


Questions about ordering

How do I order photographs?

All orders for digital scans of the photographs in this collection, and for the associated use fees for permission to use in publications or productions, should be placed online. (See also: Questions about payment)

How fast can I get the digital scan?

The digital scan will be available for download via a link at the end of the ordering process. The purchased digital scan will also be stored under "My Account" in the "My Images" tab.

How can I find a specific photograph?

All photos of a given person use the same spelling for the name. Many photographs have descriptions that contain standardized keywords. For example, entering “blackboard” in the Keyword search box will return all our photos of scientists at blackboards. Filtering your results by keyword, category and collections are available on the right sidebar of the search results.

If you know the exact catalog number of a photograph you wish to purchase (e.g., Bohr Niels B3; Abastumani Observatory H1), you can enter this information in the “Search” box located at the center of the home page in the gray bar to find that specific photo.

Who do I contact if I have problems?

If you encounter problems ordering, or cannot find a photograph, you can contact us by email (photos [at] aip.org) for the quickest response.

American Institute of Physics
Emilio Segre Visual Archives
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740

Questions about payment

Do I have to pay with a credit card?

Yes, payment can only be made by credit card. An email containing a download image link will appear on a confirmation page as soon as the payment is complete. You may need to log in to your account to complete the download.

What if I need an invoice to submit to my institution for payment?

The email receipt at the end of your order can be used as the invoice. SEE ALSO: Do I have to pay with a credit card?

What if I lost the digital scan file and need it again?

If you need to download the image AGAIN for any reason, the link is available by logging into your account and selecting the link for "My Account", then navigate to "My Images" and select “Download”.

I need to pay a use fee for a photo I only bought the digital scan of. How do I pay for the use fee?

If you have selected the Use fee of “I don’t know yet how I want to use it” and want to update your Use fee status, begin by logging in to your account. 

  1. Log in by clicking “My account”, located on the right side bar
  2. Once logged in, click on “My Images” tab
  3. Select the title of the photo to update the usage fee. This will bring you to the display page
  4. Select the green button, “Pay usage fee for this image"
  5. Select your Use fee and click the green button, “Continue”
  6. This will take you to your shopping cart. Select “Update Cart”, then select “Checkout”

Questions about Use Fees and Permissions

How do I get the permission paperwork for publishing these images?

If you are paying our use fees, the receipt at the end of your order contains all the permission information we are able to provide. Since we do not claim copyright to all of the images in our collection, we cannot sign any outside permission forms. Please be advised that the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives will not sign any publishers' forms or any legal contracts pertaining to the use of our images.

Do I have to pay both a use fee and a digital scan fee?

The fee for providing a digital scan, and the use fee, are two different things. They can be paid for separately if needed. The use fee ranges from $0.00 for private use to higher fees for use of the photographs in educational publications, media or Web productions, or any other widely viewed public venue. These fees help support our efforts, as a non-profit organization, to preserve the photographs and make them conveniently accessible for educational use in this online catalog.

You can order a digital scan with zero use fee for comping purposes if the thumbnails on our website are not high enough resolution, however the digital scan fee still applies. You can return and pay the use fee later when you know for certain which images are being used in your project. SEE ALSO: How do I order photographs?

For information on our use fees and use policy, please see these pages on Prices and Use Policy. SEE ALSO: How do I order photographs?