Policies on Patron-Generated Web Content & Crowdsourcing

Patron-Generated Web Content

View our full Website Terms and Conditions

NYPL encourages patrons to become involved in interactive portions of our website, by participating in online discussions and, in some cases, uploading content. Before you participate in these activities, however, we ask that you keep the following in mind:

1. Patrons who provide content to NYPL for its website are granting NYPL a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use such material. In most cases, NYPL will only use this material on its website, but NYPL reserves the right to also use this material in other ways, such as in promotional materials created about the Library and on third-party websites on which the Library promotes its services, collections and/or activities. In each instance, you agree that NYPL may use your content for these purposes without making any payments to you. If you are not willing to grant NYPL these rights, please do not contribute content to our site.

2. Please make sure that any content you contribute does not infringe on the rights of any third party. For example, if you upload a drawing or a photo, please make sure that you are the creator of the artwork/photo. Do not contribute content to which you don’t own the rights.

3. Please also remember to exercise good judgment when contributing written material or other content. In the NYPL blogs, for example, the Library prohibits comments that are offensive or objectionable to others, that use inappropriate language, or that are off-topic. In most instances, we will not have the resources to review patron comments/content, but we do reserve the right to edit or delete user comments/content in a manner consistent with our mission and policies. We also ask that you do not insert your own or a third party's advertising, branding or other promotional content into any of your comments/content.

4. NYPL is not responsible for any of the patron-generated comments/content that appear on our websites.


Crowdsourcing is an exciting way to help The New York Public Library explore the history and culture of New York City by enriching its collections and to collaborate with other library patrons and fellow enthusiasts. Thank you for your contributions!

Please carefully read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy of nypl.org and these additional provisions. These terms of service represent an agreement between the user (“you,” “your”) and The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations (“NYPL”). By continuing to use NYPL Crowdsourcing Platforms, including Surveyor, Building Inspector, Map Warper, and similar tools that NYPL may develop, (collectively the “Platforms”) you are agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement and those of nypl.org.


NYPL Crowdsourcing lets users help NYPL collect and verify metadata for collection items and lets users submit their own content to NYPL. Your submissions are compared with submissions from other users and used to update NYPL collection records. This helps make NYPL’s collections easier to use for everyone.

User Privacy

In addition to your submissions, NYPL may automatically collect data about how you use the Platforms, such as what web browser you are using and your IP address. If you choose to log in with a social media account, NYPL may be able to see parts of your public profile as well (and your social media provider may see how you are using the Platforms). NYPL’s privacy policy will govern NYPL’s use of all user data.

User Submissions

You agree that you will only submit your own work to the Platforms. You shall not submit anything that is illegal, offensive, discriminatory, inappropriate, purposefully false or misleading, or that violates anyone’s privacy or infringes on their copyrights. NYPL reserves the right to edit or delete user submissions that violate this agreement or other NYPL policies.

Intellectual Property

When you submit metadata or your own content to NYPL using the Platforms, you agree that the material shall be governed by a CC0 1.0 license, which allows NYPL and other users to freely modify and share it without further permission. If you wish to retain copyright protection or control over your content, you should not submit it through the Platforms.

Using the Platforms does not give you any rights to use digital content displayed on the Platform. You can find out more about the copyright status of these works in NYPL’s Digital Collections.


NYPL makes no guarantee that your submission will be used in its collections or on its websites. Your submissions to the Platform are made voluntarily and you agree that nothing in this agreement represents an offer of employment with NYPL or entitles you to any compensation whatsoever.

The Platforms are provided “as is.” NYPL makes no warranties that the Platforms will be accessible at all times and NYPL reserves the right to temporarily or permanently close down the Platforms.

NYPL may amend these terms and conditions at any time. By continuing to use the Platforms, you consent to the amended terms.