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Artwork Submission Guide

Guidelines for editors and authors for submitting artwork and images for publication at Dumbarton Oaks.

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Please remember that as author or contributor, you are responsible for obtaining and paying for permission for reproduction of any material you supply, including any copyrighted text or images. Assume that the image is copyrighted unless specifically noted otherwise. The permission supplied should be specific (see “usage terms” below) and should come from the person or institution who holds the rights to the reproduction. Many institutions have a standard procedure and standard forms for requesting permissions and digital files for print reproduction. If these resources are not available, we will be happy to supply you with a template letter that you can use for requesting image permissions.

Usage terms should include: title of image and/or image reference number; title of article or chapter; title of book; publisher (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection); and year of publication. Often it will also include print run, image size, placement size (half page, full page, cover, etc.), and whether the image will be in color or in black and white.

For images obtained from previously published works, please remember that image rights are held by the image’s copyright holder, not necessarily by the publisher of the book in which the image appears or by the author of the book or article. However, the author or publisher is often a good place to start in tracking down permissions.

Sometimes permissions are more casual. A person or institution may tell you, informally, that it is fine to use the image. We still must have written confirmation, for instance an email from the copyright holder stating that this permission was given. If you send the copyright holder an email stating specifically the usage terms, and the individual replies with affirmative confirmation, this is sufficient for our purposes.

Scans and Digital Images

We will be happy to check your images before submission to help you evaluate quality, and how best to proceed. After submission we will vet all images to be sure that there will be no problems during the production process, and we may ask you for replacements if needed. If you are not sure about finished size or image quality, or if you have any questions at all, please check with your editor or email us at We want to make the process as smooth as possible.

The minimum acceptable image resolution for print purposes is 300 dpi for color and grayscale, and 1200 dpi for line art at the size the image is to be printed. If you are unsure about the size, or wish the images to be as large as possible, it is best to size the images at least 8 inches wide at resolution. A higher resolution is fine, as it gives more leeway for sizing the image.

Images obtained from websites are, for the most part, of insufficient quality for print. You cannot increase resolution merely by changing the resolution in Adobe Photoshop or another image editing program. The image must be obtained, scanned, or photographed at a higher resolution. If this is problematic, please let us know and we will assist you. We are always happy to scan materials for you.

When supplying a digital image, please also supply a laser print of the image, clearly labeled with its filename and the figure number by which it is referenced in the captions and in the text. We are happy to accept CDs, DVDs, and USB devices, or to use services such as Dropbox and MediaFire.

100%, “full size,” or “at size”: This refers to the finished size the image will appear in the book. A good rule of thumb is to scan an image larger than needed and let the designer reduce the image in the page-layout program. If you supply images 8” wide at the required resolution, that should be sufficient for almost any book size.

dpi: Dots per inch, which is a way of describing the resolution of a digital image. In some image editing software you may also see “lpi,” which in this context may be considered the same thing. For print purposes we need a higher dpi than most video applications (such as the web). Most printing requires that the dpi for any color or grayscale image be at least 300 dpi at finished size. Line art is the exception to this rule—it should be 1200 dpi at finished size.

Grayscale: Black-and-white photographs and most black-and-white artwork should be scanned under the “grayscale” setting, at least 300 dpi (600 dpi preferred), and close to 100% finished size or larger.

Color: Color photographs and most color artwork should be scanned under the “color” setting (RGB), at least 300 dpi, at 100% finished size or larger. If the image is to be reproduced in grayscale, please leave it in color, and we will convert to grayscale.

Line art (black and white): Drawings with only black and white and no shades of gray should be scanned as “black and white,” at least 1200 dpi, and at 100% finished size or larger. If you are unsure whether your image should be scanned as black and white or as grayscale, it is best to scan as grayscale in as high a resolution as possible.

File format—.tif and .jpg: We prefer .tif with no compression, because it gives the most data and therefore results in better quality reproductions. Most scanners have .tif as an option for saving files. The most common digital camera format is .jpg, and a high quality .jpg is fine for submission as well.

Maps and graphs, and other text-intensive images: For these types of images, we need to be able to edit the text, if necessary. Therefore, they should be supplied as Adobe Illustrator files, either .ai or .eps, or as an editable .pdf file generated from this type of program.

Other files formats: Please submit .pdf files for verification before final transmission. If your image is in some other format, please check with us.