Photograph © Raymond Townsend

Terms of Use

The catalogue and the images on the Opie Archive website have been made available for research and general interest. All the material is in copyright and some of the creators are still living. By using the website, including downloading any materials from it, you are agreeing to abide by the following terms and conditions:
  1. I will comply with current copyright law. If I want to publish material from this site, I will abide by the conditions of use for that item and seek any permissions that are necessary.
  2. I will acknowledge the source of the material in any published work.
  3. I will use personal data on living persons for research purposes only. I will not use personal data in a way that causes substantial damage or distress to those persons.
  4. I will not distribute content to third parties if doing so contravenes any of the above terms.


The materials in the Iona and Peter Opie Archive are still in copyright. By and large, the rightsholder is the creator of the material. The creator name(s) is displayed in the relevant document level description in the Browse. To trace this document description from a search result, note the orange id number associated with your search result, remove the final number in the sequence, and navigate to the resulting id number in the Browse.

Materials created by Iona and Peter Opie are the copyright of the Iona and Peter Opie estate. They can be used for non-commercial purposes under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence with the following attribution:

[Title], by Iona and Peter Opie, CC BY-NC 4.0, Archive of Iona and Peter Opie, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, [with associated shelf mark and folio number]

Materials created by a named person or organisation are the copyright of that person or organisation. However, few of these rights-holders have been located. Where no license is indicated, you are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.

Materials created by an unnamed person are in copyright but no rights-holder(s) have been identified. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.

Copyright in the digital images is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and are made avalable here under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence, subject to the user complying with current data protection legislation.

Due to the large number of contributors, and the difficulty of tracing them or their heirs, it has not been possible to seek permission prior to making their materials available. One of the reasons for making them available is to assist in the process of tracing rights-holders. If you have any information that can contribute to identifying or locating the rights-holder(s), or if you believe you are a rights-holder, please get in touch with us at (putting Opie Archive in the subject line).

Data Protection

Many of the materials submitted to the Opies contain the name of their creator, and sometimes their place of residence, school and age. These contributors included children who will now be adults aged about 60-80 years old and so likely to be still living.

The personal data in the Iona and Peter Opie Archive has been processed ‘for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest’ (Article 6(1)(e) General Data Protection Regulation). This includes the processing of any special category data which has been processed ‘for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes’ (Article 9 (j) General Data Protection Regulation). The data controller is the University of Sheffield. Further information can be found in the University’s Privacy Notice.

Names, places of residence, places of upbringing, school attended and ages, where given, have been gathered from the collection and entered into the catalogue. The Opie Archive makes this personal data publicly available online in the catalogue entries and the digitised images. By so doing, our aim is to enable rights-holders to be identified and to encourage them or their heirs to come forward and negotiate the licensing of their work.


If you consider you hold rights in any of the images on this website, and wish for it to be removed, you can request the removal of the image, or other modification, by writing to, putting Opie Archive in the subject line, and stating
  1. your name, email address and phone number
  2. the Bodleian shelf mark and folio number of the image
  3. the nature of the complaint
  4. a statement that you are the copyright holder or are authorised to act on behalf of the rights holder.
We aim to make an initial assessment within 5 days of receipt. If the complaint warrants further investigation the material will be withdrawn from the repository within 10 working days of receiving your notification while we investigate it fully.



The material contained in the Iona and Peter Opie Archive is provided for general purposes only. We accept no responsibility for loss arising from reliance on information contained in this site.


Offensive materials

Some of the documents in the Opie Archive contain offensive words and phrases. Our approach has been to avoid censorship of this content so as to provide evidence of historical usage and its occurrence in traditional texts and social structures of the time.  These words and phrases are visible in the digital images. They have also been reproduced verbatim in catalogue entries where they occur in titles and first lines of rhymes of songs, chants, rhymes and sayings, or are the focus of beliefs.
For further discussion of this issue, see Alicia Chilcott, ‘Towards protocols for describing racially offensive language in UK public archives’, Archival Science (2019).