Collection Guide for Cultural Heritage Projects



The Collection Guide for Cultural Heritage Projects has been developed by Ming-Ai (London) Institute as part of the British Chinese Workforce Heritage project, with support and advice from K&L Gates LLP. It addresses some of the key legal issues that can arise at different stages of a community cultural heritage project.

It has been designed as a practical guideline for other community organisations who are conducting their own cultural heritage projects. 

The Collection Guide provides information on how to collect different materials that might be used or produced as part of a community group project and how to deal with the materials once collected. The nature of cultural heritage projects means that images, audio, visual and other materials will be collected. Other materials might be used as part of promotional resources. It is important that the ownership and copyright of all the materials are clearly identified. Issues of data protection may also arise during the course of a project. The Guide deals with these issues and provides practical solutions and best practice suggestions. 

The Guide is available free of charge. To request a PDF copy, please contact us by giving your full name and organisation (if appliable).

Please see below for the Table of Contents.  Please note that the Guide is only available in English. 


1.0       Introduction
2.0       Legal Issues
2.1       Copyright
2.1.1    Types of copyright
2.1.2    Exclusive rights of the copyright holder
2.1.3    Ownership of Copyright
2.1.4    Duration of copyright
2.1.5    Ways to transfer Copyright
2.1.6    Copyright Infringement and Exceptions
2.2       Data Protection and Privacy
3.0       Your Community Cultural Heritage Project
3.1       Protecting your work: Copyright Symbol and Copyright Notices
3.1.1    Website
3.2       Explaining your Project: Information Sheets
3.3       People involved in the Project: Employees and Volunteers
3.4       Acknowledgement: General Good Practice
3.5       Materials collected as part of Project
3.5.1    Research
3.5.2    Interviews: Oral History Interviews, general interviews Interview Content Audio and Video Recording Items that the interviewee has brought to show you Borrowed Items Donated items Old Items
3.5.3    Images Photography and Video Footage: ownership Photography and Video Footage: Consent Images donated or lent to the Project Images: Reproduction of Images and other items subject to Copyright
3.6      Original works created for the Project
3.6.1   Reports and Articles
3.6.2   Translations
3.6.3   Music Composed
3.6.4   Artwork
3.6.5   Books or other products for sale
3.6.6   Educational Materials
3.7      Using existing materials
3.7.1   Tracking down Copyright Owners
3.7.2   Images downloaded from the Internet
3.7.3   Music
3.7.4   Creative Commons Licences
3.7.5   Showing a Film or Performing a Play
3.8      Social Media: Uploading your Project findings online
3.8.1   YouTube
3.8.2   Facebook
3.8.3   Twitter
3.8.4   Instagram
3.8.5   Flickr
3.8.6   Changing laws
3.9      Partnership
3.10    Licensing your Work
4.0      Archiving
5.0      Useful Resources

Appendix 1: Copyright Notices
Appendix 2: Draft statements – data release and assignment, acknowledgement
Appendix 3: Collecting Societies
Appendix 4: Forms




This Guide does not constitute legal advice and should be used as a guideline. If in doubt or if you have specific queries, please obtain independent legal advice.


This Guide may be copied for the purposes of personal study and education but the contents remain the copyright of Ming-Ai (London) Institute and must not be altered in any way.