The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University



Regulations Governing Use of the Collection

General Procedures

Failure to abide by these general regulations or any other reasonable request by the Curator for care in handling the archival material could result in withdrawal of the reader's access to the Merton Collection materials. Should such a withdrawal of access be necessary, the Curator will file within three days a written report of the reasons for withdrawal to the Trustees of the Merton Legacy Trust with a copy to the reader at the address provided on the Registration for Use of Materials (Form A).

  1. Letters

    Letters to Thomas Merton from others are not a part of the Merton Legacy Trust and may be made available for reading and note taking upon the signing of Form A unless the correspondent has expressly restricted such access in writing. They must not however be copied, quoted, published, or reprinted without the written permission of the correspondent or the correspondent's heir (Form C).

    Letters written by Thomas Merton to others may be made available for reading and note taking upon the signing of Form A unless the Merton Legacy Trust has restricted access to particular letters. Unpublished letters by Merton must not however be copied, quoted, published or reprinted without the written permission of the Merton Legacy Trustees (Form C).

  2. Manuscripts

    Certain manuscripts of Merton's remain restricted by the Trustees. The Curator will advise a reader who has requested a manuscript that is on the restricted list.

    Non-restricted, unpublished manuscripts, including the "working or reading" notebooks may be read and notes taken. They may not, however, be copied, quoted, paraphrased, published or reprinted without the permission of the Merton Trustees. As the personal journals have been published with a minimum of editing, access to the original holographic journals remains restricted by the Trustees for reasons of preservation.

    If copies of published manuscript materials are desired, they may be made from the published copy of the manuscript subject only to the general copyright regulations governing published materials. If for serious reasons the copy must be obtained from the manuscript itself, permission must be requested from the Merton Legacy Trust. This general policy also covers any copying of manuscripts that may vary from or supplement the published materials.

  3. Published Materials

    Use of published and/or copyrighted materials (personal and literary writings, photographs, drawings, microforms, audio tapes, videotapes, CD-ROMs, films, etc.) is subject solely to general rules governing the use of such materials. Notes may be taken and photocopies made from the book, article, etc. subject only to the general copyright regulations governing the reproduction of published material.

  4. Drawings, Photographs, Paintings, Etc.

    Permission to reproduce any picture, drawings, photograph, painting, etc. must be requested to the Merton Legacy Trustees. Pictures, photographs, etc. published in books or periodicals may be copied subject to the general copyright regulations governing published materials.

  5. Audio Recordings

    Unpublished audio tapes and other recordings, whether recorded as original material or recorded from previously written or typed material, may be listened to and notes may be taken upon completing the Registration Form. Permission to duplicate, quote or publish must be requested from the Merton Legacy Trustees. Permission to reproduce, quote, paraphrase or publish from published audio tapes must be requested from the individual or agency holding the copyright or ownership of the recording.

  6. Film (Movie, TV, Private and Commercially produced Videotapes)

    Films may be viewed at the Merton Center by interested persons unless in a specific instance a film's use has been restricted by the individual or agency holding the copyright or ownership of the film. Requests for permission to use the films for commercial purposes or public showings must be requested from the individual or agency holding the copyright or ownership of the film. Permission to duplicate, quote or publish from the film must be requested of the individual or agency holding the copyright or ownership of the film.

  7. Mimeographed Material

    Unpublished mimeographed materials may be made available to scholars and notes taken but this material cannot be copied, quoted, paraphrased, published or reprinted without first obtaining the permission of the Merton Legacy Trust.

  8. Use of Photography or Artwork for Exhibitions outside the Merton Center

    Only with written permission from the Merton Legacy Trust will Merton's photography or art pieces be temporarily loaned to an institution for exhibition purposes. Proof of Insurance on the individual items to be exhibited, and a full facilities report, must be forwarded to the Curator before any shipment of Merton's work to the borrowing institution. A formal agreement between the borrowing institution, the Merton Legacy Trust and Bellarmine University must be executed prior to shipment of materials. All costs for duplication, shipping and preparation by the Merton Center personnel will be paid by the borrowing institution which will place a deposit equal to the estimated costs for such services with the Merton Center prior to shipment. Loans of archival materials for exhibition purposes are always extraordinary and subject to the decision of the Merton Legacy Trust on a case-by-case basis.

  9. Use of Digital Cameras

    Limited use of digital photography for private research and study is permitted under the following conditions:

    • Researchers must receive permission from an archivist before photographing anything in the collection.

    • Photographs may not be published, distributed or reproduced in any form, in print or on the internet, without prior consent of the Thomas Merton Center and the Merton Legacy Trust.

    • Photographs are to be taken with discretion. Archivists may limit the scope of photography. Digital photos are not to be used as a substitute for careful on-site research. Wholesale copying of large sections of a manuscript file is strictly prohibited and the number of photographs made should comply with the "fair use" guidelines for libraries and archives as specified by the copyright laws of the United States.

    • Flashes must be disabled and camera tripods are prohibited.

    • Researchers must seek permission to remove items from storage bags or sleeves. In most cases, researchers will be expected to leave items inside enclosures.

    • Researchers must keep a log of photographs.

    • Archivists reserve the right to confiscate cameras, computers, and storage media to remove photographs of the collection if these rules are not followed.

  10. Reproduction Fees at the Merton Center

    The fee for reproductions at the Center is ten cents per page. The fee for reproductions made by Merton Center staff for onsight research is twenty-five cents per page. Copies sent by mail are fifty cents per page plus a base charge of $10.00 and shipping. The fee for scans e-mailed or burned onto cd is fifty cents per page plus a base charge of $10.00 (plus shipping for CD's). These fees are in addition to the Permission Fees set by and payable to the Merton Legacy Trust should permission be granted to quote from, paraphrase or publish Merton's work. Wholesale copying of large sections of a manuscript file is strictly prohibited and the number of photocopies should comply with the "fair use" guidelines for libraries and archives as specified by the copyright laws of the United States. Permission for extensive copying or scanning is not normally granted for offsite research.

    Photographs or drawings by Thomas Merton are reproduced only with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and for publication or scholarly purposes only–never for strictly personal use. The Merton Center's fee for reproducing a photographic image is $50.00 plus the cost of shipping payable in advance. These fees are additional to the Permission Fees set by and payable to the Merton Legacy Trust should permission be granted to produce Merton's photographic images.