Finding Primary Sources: Copyright and Primary Sources
If you intend to reproduce or publish primary sources, for example, placing images on a website, always make sure that you have the correct permissions regarding copyright. This is true both for materials you may have consulted in person at a repository, as well as for digitized materials you may have consulted on the Web. Some materials may be in the public domain, and therefore no longer subject to copyright restrictions. Some types of research fall under the Fair Use provision of U.S. Copyright law. The following resources may be helpful in your efforts to determine your own copyright situation.
Resources for Copyright Information
- U. S. Copyright Office: Start at the source - the U. S. Copyright Office's official website with documentation, F. A. Q., and information about current legislation. Also see Circular 22: How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.
- The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance: Designed for academic institutions, this guide helps answer questions ranging from basic copyright law to the more complex topics of ILL and e-reserves.
- University of Texas, Austin: Copyright Crash Course: This site contains analysis of copyright law as it applies to students.
- UNESCO: Collection of National Copyright Laws: Provides "access to national copyright and related rights legislation of UNESCO Member States."
- Duke University: Rare Book, Manuscripts, and Special Collections Library - Policy on Copyright and Use: Guidelines for copyright issues specific to reproduction of primary materials.
- University of Texas: WATCH: Writers, Artists and their Copyright Holders: A searchable database providing contact information for the trusts, organizations, and individuals who hold and grant copyright permissions for artists, writers, and their works.
- Goldstein, Paul. Copyright. 2nd ed. (Boston, Mass. : Little, Brown, 1996).
- Nimmer, Melville B. and David Nimmer. Nimmer on Copyright. (New York : Matthew Bender and Lexis Publishing, 2000).