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. 

Use policy


The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives makes digital versions of our collections accessible for educational and research purposes only. The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives is primarily comprised of copies of photographs received from various donors and sources; therefore, we cannot always identify the copyright holder and do not claim copyright to most images in our library. If we have any idea who holds copyright, we try to provide that information in the credit line, which accompanies the image, as well as contact information for the possible copyright holder if we have that. Responsibility for clearing copyright for publication or public display remains with the applicant. Users with questions pertaining to copyright liability should seek their own legal counsel, as we do not provide such guidance. 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.

We are always eager to hear from any rights owners so that we can obtain accurate copyright information for our records and users. Please photos [at] aip.org (contact us) if you are able to supply any additional information about these photos or their copyright owners so that we can make any necessary corrections.

Credit line

When using our images in any manifestation of a project, the user must agree to attach the proper credit line, which is supplied for each image in our database.

Interpreting our credit line

Users need to check our Fee Schedule to determine the use fee for publication.

If the credit line does not indicate AIP copyright, we provide all the information that we have on the possible copyright holder by adding notes like the following:

Photo by name of photographer...

Name of Institution...

Name of collection

The individual or institution named is a possible copyright holder and should be contacted regarding permission to use the image, unless otherwise stated in the description. This information was either stamped or written on the back of our copy of the photograph or provided to us via some other medium.

If you have any questions regarding the format of the credit line, the staff at the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives is always happy to help.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice

We do our best to identify and contact potential copyright holders before putting donated images online, however, if you suspect alleged copyright infringement on our site, please email, call or send correspondence to the Photo Librarian. Upon request, we’ll remove material from public view while we address a rights issue.

Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740
T: (301) 209-3184
F: (301) 209-3144

Please be sure to include the following information:

  1. Identification of the copyrighted work on our site (catalog number and link to image).
  2. Identification of the rightful copyright owner, as well as his/her contact information.
  3. Your contact information (name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address).
  4. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the matter complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  5. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on the behalf of the owner of the copyright that is allegedly infringed.
  6. Your signature (physical or electronic).

Helpful resources

I’d like to explore:

Fair Use
General Copyright FAQ

Still have questions?  Try using the Digital Image Rights Computator (DIRC), which will lead you through a series of questions to help you determine whether your intended use falls under the Fair Use clause.

Digital ImageRights Computator (DIRC)