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The California Institute of Technology is an independent, privately supported non-profit university, whose mission is to train creative scientists and engineers by conducting instruction in an atmosphere of research. Accordingly, all reproductions made by or for patrons with university affiliation must be for non-commercial educational 'fair use' purposes as defined by 17 U.S.C. 107. Also the Library has the legal right to make single copy reproductions of articles, or contributions to collections, or small parts of larger works for a patron's private study, scholarship, or research (17 U.S.C. 108d).

'Fair use' is generally defined as: