Legal Information & Permission to Publish

The world today is very interested in protecting what is rightfully theirs. One way this is done is through the use of copyright and trade marks. Through this process the owners of copyright and trade marks have access to certain legal recourses to protect their rights should they perceive those rights have been violated. The Center for Adventist Research will not attempt to re-state the applicable copyright laws. They are available via a web search or by visiting the Andrews University Copyright Center.

In the past, unfortunately, many people have assumed that since they were using materials for good things then it was OK to violate the copyright laws. An example of this is the wholesale republication of large portions of Ellen G. White publications without seeking the permission of the copyright holder. The intention may be good, but you do need to abide by the prevailing laws. This holds true for most of the material you can obtain from the Center. We consider most materials published after about 1923 to be potentially copyright protected. This protection is assumed unless research is done to determine it is not protected.

The Center provides copies to researchers with the assumption they will be used exclusively for private and personal study. If the researcher wishes to distribute the copies, even for no cost in any way, or sell portions of it they must first determine who holds the copyright and seek explicit permission from them. The Center is typically not the copyright holder. This work of seeking rights to distribute or publish must be done by the researcher.

The Center does make available via our various databases quite a few materials which may possibly be copyright protected. However, we strive to ensure that what is available in this manner are materials not likely to be sold by the originator or the originator is deceased. We do not typically make available regular publications from organizations established to sell products unless we have information or explicit permission to do so. We are anxious to help the one holding the copyright to protect their investment of time and money. We also want to help researchers gain access to what they need for their personal study. We hope those obtaining copies of potentially copyright protected materials will act responsibly in this matter.

Users of the Center for Adventist Research and materials obtained from there, either physically or via digital means, should keep the following information in mind:

Terms of Use

This website is provided as a service by the Andrews University Center for Adventist Research. You may print, reproduce, and use the information from the Center for Adventist Research website for non-commercial use and your own personal or educational purposes. Any additional uses may require permission.



The entities that make up the Center for Adventist Research work hard to make sure information on this website is accurate and up-to-date. However, we make no warranty, guarantee, or representation as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information on this website, and Andrews University assumes no responsibility or liability regarding the use or misuse of such information.

Information on this website does not represent the official statements or views of the Center for Adventist Research, Andrews University, the Ellen G. White Estate, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, or of any other organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is provided to help guide the user in seeing the necessity of securing the necessary permissions to use materials obtained for any use beyond their personal use.


Copyright Complaints

To report alleged copyright infringement concerning any of our materials, please send your notice to


Andrews University Copyright Center

For general information about copyright compliance, please visit the Andrews University Copyright Center.


Privacy Statement

At times the Center for Adventist Research will use your IP address to collect website usage statistics such as browser used, pages visited, and visit length. We make no attempt to identify individual visitors from this information. We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information you may submit to us. Any personal information we may collect from you will be used only for the purpose you provided it for.

Permission to Publish

If you plan to quote more than two successive paragraphs in one place you will need to secure permission from the copyright holder and from the Center for Adventist Research as the holder of the physical source item. Please direct requests to publish materials obtained from the Center to the following address:

Center for Adventist Research
James White Library
Andrews University
4190 Administration Drive
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1440

To be processed, all permissions requests for published materials must include:

  • Title of the item [book, document, periodical, etc.] from which the quoted passages were selected
  • Call number of the item or collection
  • Page number
  • For archival and manuscript collection materials, requests must include the name of the collection, the collection number, the series, box, and folder number(s) in which the selected materials are housed.
  • Copy of the quotation as it is in your page or production
  • Evidence that you have obtained or diligently sought permission from the copyright holder. This evidence will usually be a copy of the letter to and the message received back from them granting you permission. Lacking a response from the copyright holder please include copies of your letters asking for permission and state that no response was received.

Failure to provide such information can slow down the permissions process as we will need to contact you to get this information and can potentially prevent the request from being approved.

Please note that the Center for Adventist Research cannot grant permission for printed works that are still under copyright protection; for such items, the requestor must contact the publisher. Similarly, we cannot grant permission for archival or manuscript collections for which we do not hold copyright.

While we do try to provide patrons with the contact information of the holders of copyright of archival and manuscripts holdings, often we do not have this information on file, nor do we have the staffing to conduct a copyright search for our researchers. It is the researcher’s responsibility to attempt to locate the copyright holder prior to publishing.


Where to Obtain Information on Copyright Holders and Copyright Status

An excellent source of information on current copyrights in the United States is the U.S. Copyright Office, which hosts an online database of copyrights registered with the Copyright Office. Additionally, patrons may search copyright renewal records received by the U.S. Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 by going to the Copyright Renewal Database.

Another resource is the WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders), maintained by the Harry Ransom Center. The Ransom Center describes the Watch Files as a “database containing primarily the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.”

For patrons seeking copyright holders of visual materials, the American Society of Picture Professionals has created a helpful website.