Copyright Historical Record Books Collection Available Online | 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….”

About this Collection  |  Open Access Books  |  Digital Collections  |  Library of Congress

“This is a growing online collection of contemporary open access e-books. All of these books have been made available for download on the Library’s website in keeping with the intent of their creators and publishers, which chose to publish these works under open access licenses to allow the broadest possible access and reuse. All books added to the collection go through a selection process whereby subject matter experts determine which works are in scope based on the Library’s Collections Policy Statements. Although the Library of Congress holds print copies of some open access books received through multiple routine acquisition streams, these openly licensed works can be made much more broadly accessible in their digital form. By collecting the e-books in addition to the print books, the Library commits to preserving the digital content and providing lasting access to this content.

The Library of Congress defines Open Digital Content as the following:

any digital material that is licensed for free and open use and redistribution, such as works under a Creative Commons (CC) license,
material that is not protected by any country’s copyright law, such as U.S. government documents and public domain content,
and copyrighted content that is available at no cost for which the Library has secured permission from the content owner to redistribute the content openly.”

[Open letter to two members of Congress in support of OA for CRS reports]

“Thank you for your ongoing efforts to provide oversight and direction to the Library of Congress and for your service on the oldest continuing joint committee of the U.S. Congress. We respectfully request that you direct the Congressional Research Service to publish all non-confidential CRS Reports online….

Congress has endorsed public availability of non-confidential CRS Reports, as have former CRS employees, civil society, and academics. Indeed, long standing congressional policy 5 6 7 has allowed Members and committees to distribute CRS products to the public over the decades and now directs the CRS to prospectively make the reports publicly available. “Non-current CRS reports,” i.e., reports not published on CRS’s internal website after the 2018 Appropriations law’s enactment date, still have relevance for members of Congress, staff, and the public. These reports provide context for issues under deliberation and illuminate choices made by members of Congress concerning policy questions that still are relevant today. CRS Reports are often cited in significant historical works of scholarship. In fact, the continued relevance of non-current CRS Reports is why, in part, CRS maintains a digitized archive of some reports for use by CRS employees that often are shared with congressional staff….

Congressional Research Service Reports enrich the legislative process and help inform public debate. We appreciate your attention to addressing public availability of non-current CRS Reports and publication of all non-confidential CRS Reports in more flexible formats….” 

Law Library of Congress and Government Publishing Office Digitize Records of Congress, Release First Selected Volumes Online | Library of Congress

“The Law Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Government Publishing Office, has digitized 287 volumes of the United States Congressional Serial Set and made them available on the Library’s website.

The release is part of a decade-long partnership to digitize more than 15,000 volumes of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set — the reports and documents of the House and Senate, including proposed legislation, committee reports and issues under investigation — dating back to the first volume published in 1817. The Law Library and GPO began this multi-year digitization effort two years ago….”

Library of Congress and Harvard University Form Historic Collaboration on Islamic Law Collections | Library of Congress

“The Library of Congress and Harvard Law School have initiated an unprecedented, multifaceted joint collaboration to identify, select and assess the copyright status of materials focusing on national legal gazettes.

The effort, initially set for three years, will coordinate access to, knowledge-sharing, and legal analysis of Library of Congress’ collections related to Islamic law, including national legal gazettes, manuscripts and other materials. It will also improve a reader or researcher’s ability to search those sources, using new data science tools and faceted searches tailored to Islamic collections. The joint objective is to expand scholarly analysis of and greater public access to relevant legal materials….”

Update: 1201 Exemption to Enable Text and Data Mining Research | Authors Alliance

“Authors Alliance, joined by the Library Copyright Alliance and the American Association of University Professors, is petitioning the Copyright Office for a new three-year exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) as part of the Copyright Office’s eighth triennial rulemaking process. If granted, our proposed exemption would allow researchers to bypass technical protection measures (“TPMs”) in order to conduct text and data mining (“TDM”) research on literary works that are distributed electronically and motion pictures. Recently, we met with representatives from the U.S. Copyright Office to discuss the proposed exemption, focusing on the circumstances in which access to corpus content is necessary for verifying algorithmic findings and ways to address security concerns without undermining the goal of the exemption….”

Speculative Annotation Invites Public to Interact with Digitized Collections at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress

“Students, educators and learners of all ages are invited to interact with select items in the Library’s collections with the launch of Speculative Annotation, the latest experiment from LC Labs.

Created by artist and 2021 Innovator in Residence Courtney McClellan, Speculative Annotation is an open-source dynamic web application and public art project. The app presents a unique mini collection of free-to-use items from the Library for students, teachers and learners to annotate through captions, drawings and other types of mark-making. As a special feature for Speculative Annotation users, the app includes a collection of informative, engaging annotations from Library experts and resources on the Library’s website….”

Brewster Kahle named to the Library of Congress’ Copyright Public Modernization Committee – Internet Archive Blogs

“The Library of Congress announced that Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian and founder of the Internet Archive, has been named to the Copyright Public Modernization Committee (CPMC), with a mission to help modernize the technology-related aspects of the U.S. Copyright Office. More specifically the CPMC will support “the development of the new Enterprise Copyright System (ECS), which includes the Office’s registration, recordation, public records, and licensing IT applications, and will be encouraged to help spread awareness of the Library’s development efforts more broadly.”

The thirteen member panel is composed of leaders from the library and university worlds along with representatives from trade organizations representing the recording and publishing industries, and corporate giants Amazon and Warner Media. Kahle, who holds a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, brings decades of experience in digital library issues, and is an inaugural member of the Internet Hall of Fame.  “I am excited to collaborate to help modernize the  U.S. Copyright Office.  Let’s see how far we can get,” says Kahle….”

Free to Use and Reuse: The Photographs of Bernard Gotfryd | Library of Congress Blog

“The photographs of Bernard Gotfryd, now free for anyone to use from the Library’s collections, are a remarkable resource of late 20th-century American pop-culture and political life, as he was a Newsweek staff photographer based in New York for three decades.

In his work, you’ll find film stars such as Dustin Hoffman on the set of “Midnight Cowboy,” novelists, painters, singers and songwriters, politicians at podiums and any number of passionate people at street protests. Gotfryd, who died in 2016 at the age of 92, left the bulk of his photographs to the Library and designated that his copyright should expire at his death….”

Renowned Digital Humanities Researchers Begin Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud | Library of Congress

“Three renowned researchers in digital humanities and computer science are joining forces with the Library of Congress on three inaugural Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud projects, exploring how biblical quotations, photographic styles and “fuzzy searches” reveal more about the collections in the world’s largest Library than first meets the eye.

Supported by a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded in 2019, the initiative combines cutting edge technology with the Library’s vast collections to support digital humanities research at scale. These three outside researchers will collaborate with subject matter experts and technology specialists at the Library of Congress to experiment in pursuit of answers that can only be achieved with collections and data at scale. These collaborations will enable research on questions previously difficult to address due to technical and data constraints. Expanding the skills and knowledge necessary for this work will enable the Library to support emerging methods in cloud-based computing research such as machine learning, computer vision, interactive data visualization, and other areas of digital humanities and computer science research. As a result, the Library and other cultural heritage institutions may build upon or adapt these approaches for their own use in improving access to text and image collections….”

Federal Register :: Announcement of Copyright Public Modernization Committee

“The Library of Congress is convening a public committee to enhance communication and provide a public forum for the technology-related aspects of the U.S. Copyright Office’s modernization initiative. At this time, the Library is announcing that it will accept applications from qualified members of the public to serve on this committee. The scope of contributions made by the committee are limited to the specific topics set forth in this notice. Membership will be on a volunteer basis, with the expectation of in-person or virtual participation at two open forums a year at the member’s own expense….”

Library’s Web Archiving: COVID-19 Challenges | Library of Congress Blog

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to the Library’s web archiving program not seen since the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. The program had just begun in 2000, and the Library rushed to pull together online material from all across the country after the attacks. The resulting archive is part of the Library’s permanent collection.

Since then, the web archiving program has collected an enormous amount of materials (more than two petabytes of data and over 21 billion files) primarily in event or theme-based collections that are proposed, approved and set up in a process that can take several weeks to complete….

The team has been highly selective regarding new nominations, with a primary focus on the U.S. The team is also planning for the eventual public launch of the collection, which has a working title of the “Coronavirus Web Archive.” Since the Library’s web archives program observes a one-year embargo on harvested content, that collection will likely be made fully available in the latter half of 2021. Small parts of it will be available before the full launch….”