May 22, 2022

Copyright Historical Record Books Collection Now Available Online From Library of Congress/U.S. Copyright Office

From the Library of Congress:

The first 500 record books in the digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection are now available online. This collection is a preview of digitized historical record books that the Copyright Office plans to add to its Copyright Public Record System. This first release is part of a multi-year digitization project and includes applications for books registered with the Office from 1969 to 1977. The collection is being digitized in reverse chronological order.

The entire Historical Record Books Collection includes 26,278 bound volumes (over 26 million pages) of registration, renewal, assignment, notice of use of musical compositions, and patent records from 1870 to 1977. The Office is prioritizing digitizing records for works that are still under copyright protection. This project is part of a larger initiative within the Copyright Office to digitize and provide access to these public records not previously available online. Through digitization, the Office is also preserving these important historical and cultural records for future research. To find a specific registration record in the online collection, users will need to find the record book volume with the corresponding class and year. If the user knows, for example, the registration number they are seeking, the range of numbers located in each volume can be found in the collection item title. The documents within the historical record books are also indexed in the Copyright Card Catalog and available online in Virtual Card Catalog, and limited groups are listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries. In the future, the Office plans to develop metadata to allow users to search by fields, such as registration number, title, and claimant via the Copyright Public Records System.

To learn more about the Historical Records Books Collection, please visit the collection website. Periodic updates will be provided as more record books are digitized and added to the collection. For more information on searching for copyright records, visit the Copyright Public Records Portal and view our Historical Public Records Program Update webinar from August 31, 2021.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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