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Among the many persons to whom I am indebted for assistance, I wish particularly to express my gratitude to Joseph W. Rogers for his generous interest and encouragement over several years; he and Waldo H. Moore have demonstrated that the United States Copyright Office is a place which welcomes scholarly researchers with courtesy and understanding. For a careful reading of the manuscript, I am grateful not only to Mr. Rogers and Mr. Moore but also to Elizabeth K. Dunne and Benjamin W. Rudd of the Copyright Office; for additional help, I wish to thank Frederick R. Goff and Roger J. Trienens of the Library of Congress and Donald W. Krummel and Richard Colles Johnson of The Newberry Library.


The fullest listing is Henriette Mertz, Copyright Bibliography (1950); the earlier standard list (still useful) is Thorvald Solberg's "A Bibliography of Literary Property" in R. R. Bowker's Copyright: Its Law and Its Literature (1886). Since June 1953 a current bibliography has appeared in each issue of the Bulletin of the Copyright Society of the U. S. A. Among the prominent earlier writers on copyright were Augustine Birrell, William Morris Colles, George Ticknor Curtis, F. S. Drone, E. J. Macgillivray, George Haven Putnam, and Thorvald Solberg (specific titles can be checked in the Mertz bibliography); more recent treatments include such books as R. R. Shaw's Literary Property in the United States (1950) and Benjamin Kaplan's An Unhurried View of Copyright (1967). Two standard works, continually revised, are W. A. Copinger, Copyright, ed. F. E. and E. P. Skone James (10th ed., 1965), and Melville B. Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright (loose leaf, 1963- ).


This paper has been printed three times, under slightly different titles: as "Records in the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress Deposited by the United States District Courts, 1790-1870," in PBSA, XXXI (1937), 81-101; as Records in the Copyright Office Deposited by the United States District Courts Covering the Period 1790-1870 (Government Printing Office, 1939); and as "Records of the United States District Courts, 1790-1870, Deposited in the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1937 (1939), pp. 93-106.


College and Research Libraries, VII (1946), 34-40, 44. Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, in The Book in America (2nd ed., 1951), also recognized the copyright records as "bibliographical source material of first-rate importance" (p. 202).


In the Lyell Lectures for 1966; see his "Firma Tauchnitz 1837-1900," Book Collector, XV (1966), 423-36. Matthew J. Bruccoli spoke on "Transatlantic Texts" before the Bibliographical Society on 15 March 1966.


This act was in response to a petition by John Usher; see Evans 168 and Copyright Enactments (1963), p. 140. For a Massachusetts bill exactly one century later, see Rollo G. Silver, "Prologue to Copyright in America," Studies in Bibliography, XI (1958), 259-62.


Webster described his efforts to promote copyright laws in the various states in "Origin of the Copy-right Laws in the United States," in A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary and Moral Subjects (1843), pp. 173-78; see also Harry Warfel, Noah Webster: Schoolmaster to America (1936), pp. 54-60.


The full texts of these laws, as well as all the later federal copyright laws, are conveniently brought together in Copyright Enactments: Laws Passed in the United States since 1783 Relating to Copyright (Copyright Office Bulletin No. 3, 1900; revised 1963). The original printings of these state laws are listed there, following the text of each act; many of the laws have been reprinted in later compilations of state documents, where additional related material is sometimes available. The state copyright acts of Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Virginia are also reprinted in A Documentary History of Education in the South before 1860, ed. Edgar Wallace Knight, II (1950), 52-63. A general survey of the provisions of the state laws is Karl Fenning's "Copyright before the Constitution," Publishers' Weekly, CXIV (1928), 1336-38, reprinted in the Journal of the Patent Office Society, XVII (1935), 379-85.


Since these dates do not appear in the books themselves and since the Law and Lewis works are not among the indexed copyrights in the Connecticut Archives, I have been unable to discover Trumbull's source for this information.


The Public Records of the State of Connecticut, ed. Charles J. Hoadly, III (1922), 537-38. See Irving Lowens, "Copyright and Andrew Law," PBSA, LIII (1959), 150-59; "Andrew Law and the Pirates," Journal of the American Musicological Society, XIII (1960), 206-23, reprinted in his Music and Musicians in Early America (1964).


Charles R. Hildeburn, in The Issues of the Press of Pennsylvania (1885-86), lists this work (entry 4591) and states that it is the earliest example of American copyright he has encountered.


I wrote to officials in each of the states involved on 30 January 1967 and received replies in each case to the effect that no pre-1790 state copyright materials were now known to exist in their archives. J. H. Whitty reported as long ago as 1911, in his Record of Virginia Copyright Entries (1790-1844), that "No records have been discovered of State copyright entries in Virginia" (p. 5). The Catalogue of Records of the Office of the Secretary of State for New York (1898) mentions some miscellaneous papers relating to copyrights by the Secretary of State (p. 133), which may have been the pre-1790 records, but these papers apparently no longer survive.


Cited by Irving Lowens, PBSA, LIII (1959), 153.


See Copyright in Congress 1789-1904, ed. Thorvald Solberg (1905), pp. 112-15. Cf. Evans 21394, 21978, 22090, and 22192.


The loose title pages are now housed in 92 boxes (in the Rare Book Division of the Library of Congress), arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within the year. But a number of them, especially for well-known authors, have been removed from their proper place and put in a single miscellaneous box; in addition, two boxes and one folder of title pages are shelved with the record books, and some title pages can be found among the correspondence.


Goff, "Almost Books," New Colophon, I (1948), part 2, pp. 125-33; Trienens, "Copyright Deposit Title Pages of American Medical Books, 1790-1820," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, XX (1965), 59-62, which supplements Robert B. Austin's Early American Medical Imprints 1668-1820 (1961).


This information is also available in the record books, of course. Wright comments on his use of copyright evidence in "In Pursuit of American Fiction," in Bibliography: Papers Read at a Clark Library Seminar, May 7, 1966 (1966), pp. 41-45, as well as in American Fiction 1774-1850 (rev., 1948), p. x. Louis C. Karpinski, in his Bibliography of Mathematical Works Printed in America through 1850 (1940), includes a separate section of 105 "entry titles" known only through the copyright records (pp. 551-64).


The copyright proprietor, if not the author himself, was generally the publisher but could also be the printer or someone else acting on behalf of the author.


That is, the announced date on which a work was to be made available to the public, which is not synonymous with the date of completion of printing, though occasionally the two may in fact be identical.


Although the notice was not legally required until 1 January 1803, a number of books published between 1790 and 1802 included such a notice, since it was to the proprietor's advantage to announce his copyright. For example, Elihu Hubbard Smith's anthology American Poems, Selected and Original (1793) carried a line on its title page which read, "The Copyright secured as the Act directs"; and Hannah Foster's The Coquette (1797) included a notice similar to the kind that was later required, with the precise date of copyright entry.


That is, if the copy is the one originally deposited with the district court. Later provisions, explained below, required additional deposits, and there is no reason why the deposit date in a copy originally deposited in the Library of Congress has to match the date on which another copy was deposited at the district court.


On the deposit requirements for this period, see Elizabeth K. Dunne, "Deposit of Copyrighted Works," Copyright Law Revision Studies, No. 20 (1960), pp. 11-13.


Deposit copies do still turn up, on rare occasions, in the libraries of these two Departments, but the bulk of them was transferred according to law. On 1 March 1967 I checked the stacks of the State Department library and could find no deposit copies; the small size of the American literature section indicates in itself that the deposits, in this area at least, are no longer there, and the few pre-1870 volumes of literary interest show no signs of being deposit copies. The printed Catalogue of the Library of the Department of State (1825; rev., 1830) undoubtedly includes books received as copyright deposits, but the sources of the books are not indicated.


These three works have been discussed by Joseph W. Rogers in U.S. National Bibliography and the Copyright Law (1960), pp. 11-29; and more briefly by Elizabeth K. Dunne and Rogers in "The Catalog of Copyright Entries," Copyright Law Revision Studies, No. 21 (1960), pp. 55-57.


Roberts gives a similar list (PBSA, XXXI, 97-101), but I have felt it useful to go over this ground again because additional material has turned up since the time of his article. In particular, an examination of the miscellaneous bundles furnishes a surprising amount of new material — for example, Roberts's list gives 1845 as the beginning date for the Savannah records, but one of the miscellaneous binders contains the entries for 1800-44. Anyone wishing to refer to the unbound sheets may have a difficult time locating certain of the years as specified in Appendix A because the sheets for a particular district may turn up among the loose papers in several different binders or envelopes. Since the records are not catalogued, it is impossible to make specific citations; some of the binders and envelopes have a pencilled number on the outside but no identification numbers for the sheets enclosed; others have no identification of any sort.


See also Richard S. MacCarteney, "Some Records Dealing with or Related to Copyright, Located Outside the Copyright Office" [1963], a 10-page memorandum in the Copyright Office Library.


The Richmond entries for 1790-1844 were transcribed by James H. Whitty from a group of title pages then in the possession of Judge Robert W. Hughes. Whitty's transcription appeared in 1911 in two separate editions (see Appendix C); therefore, since it was set in type twice, there may be some discrepancies between the two editions (though a spot check has revealed none), and both should always be consulted. H. R. McIlwaine, then the State Librarian, prefaced Whitty's work by saying, "Undoubtedly, some errors have crept in in the copy made by Mr. Whitty, and the absence of the original records has made it impossible to correct them." For discussion of a Confederate copyright trial, see Thomas Conn Bryan, "General William J. Hardee and Confederate Publication Rights," Journal of Southern History, XII (1946), 263-74. Entry dates for individual authors have sometimes been cited, as Charles Feinberg does for Whitman in PBSA, LII (1958), 91.


The authors covered are T. B. Aldrich, J. S. C. Abbott, Boucicault, G. W. Curtis, Emerson, Stephen Foster, G. S. Hilliard, Hawthorne, Holmes, J. G. Holland, Irving, J. H. Ingraham, Longfellow, Lowell, D. G. Mitchell, Motley, Parkman, E. S. Phelps, H. B. Stowe, J. G. Saxe, E. C. Stedman, Bayard Taylor, Whittier, A. D. T. Whitney, and Susan and Anna Warner; also there was a page for the Webster dictionaries and one for the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.


Renewal entries can occasionally be located for works originally registered in a district court office for which the records no longer survive; on the other hand, one sometimes finds renewal entries quite close to the original entries, in cases where a proprietor (who had printed a copyright notice in his book) had failed to register or deposit his work until the time for renewal had almost arrived.


Kenneth E. Carpenter, in "Copyright Renewal Deposit Copies," PBSA, LX (1966), 473-74, discusses seventeen such items produced by Houghton Mifflin (for books by William Dean Howells) and cites further examples of this practice by Henry Holt & Co. The regulations for renewing copyrights at this time are thoroughly explained by Thorvald Solberg in Directions for Securing Copyrights (Copyright Office Bulletin No. 2, 1899).


Students of typography would be interested in the title-page collection, but less so than in the preceding period, partly because it contains few examples of early printing in various localities and partly because commercial prints and labels form no part of it after 1874. Between 1874 and 1940, commercial prints and labels were deposited and registered in the Patent Office; in 1940 the registration of these works was transferred to the Copyright Office, where it has since remained. When the transfer of function was made in 1940, a transfer of the complete Patent Office files of these materials, including the deposit copies, also took place. Following the transfer, the Copyright Office continued the Patent Office's methods of handling such materials until April 1947. The Copyright Office continues to preserve these files; consequently a substantially complete collection of original deposit copies of commercial prints and labels registered in the Patent Office or Copyright Office between 1874 and April 1947 is available. Since 1947 this material has been subject to the disposal routines mentioned below.


A useful survey of the card indexes is Dorothy Arbaugh's "The Card Files Comprising the Copyright Card Catalog," a mimeographed paper (dated January 1962) for the use of the Copyright Office staff.


The deposit of unpublished typescripts of dramatic works, one of the most interesting features of the period after 1901, is commented on below in connection with deposit copies. One other cumulative catalogue of copyrights has been published for this period, Howard Lamarr Walls's Motion Pictures 1894-1912 (1953), but its subject matter limits its usefulness for bibliographers. Three more volumes have appeared, covering 1912-39 (1951), 1940-49 (1953), and 1950-59 (1960). One use of Dramatic Compositions is illustrated by Paul T. Nolan's "Alabama Drama, 1870-1916: A Check List," Alabama Review, XVIII (1965), 65-72; and by Edgar Heyl's "Plays by Marylanders, 1870-1916," beginning in Maryland Historical Magazine, LXII (1967), 438-47.


For a further description of the Catalogue of Copyright Entries during this period, see Rogers, pp. 47-70; Dunne and Rogers, pp. 57-58.


For a discussion of the bibliographical usefulness of this British regulation, instituted in the act of 12 July 1799, see William B. Todd, "London Printers' Imprints, 1800-1840," Library, 5th ser., XXI (1966), 46-59 (with an appendix, pp. 60-62, by Paul Morgan, on provincial imprints, 1799-1869).


The fact that the card catalogues are arranged in sequences of years which overlap these changes of form causes no difficulty when one is using them. There are the separate claimant and author files for each class between 1898 and 1937, followed by general claimant-author-title alphabets for 1938-45, for 1946-54, and for 1955 to the present. These indexes are described by Dorothy Arbaugh in the mimeographed paper cited above.


The titles of these works through 1916 are of course included in Dramatic Compositions Copyrighted . . . 1870 to 1916 (1916-18), discussed above.


Report of the Librarian of Congress for . . . 1923, p. 151. See also the 1930 Report, p. 61, and the 1936 Report, p. 29; general comments about transfers occur in most of the annual Reports.


The most thorough discussion of American deposits, with a brief survey of foreign systems, is Elizabeth K. Dunne, "Deposit of Copyrighted Works," Copyright Law Revision Studies, No. 20 (1960), pp. 1-40.


The use of the claimant entries in the indexes to CCE for research into the history of individual publishing firms is further discussed in G. T. Tanselle, "The Historiography of American Literary Publishing," SB, XVIII (1965), esp. pp. 17-21.


On the CCE for this period, see Rogers, pp. 71-96; Dunne and Rogers, pp. 58-72. On the legal status of CCE and other "records," see Benjamin W. Rudd, "Facts Needed for Registration Records" [1955], a 15-page memorandum in the Copyright Office Library. An essay which takes up the usefulness of both deposits and records is M. William Krasilovsky, "Observations on Public Domain," Bulletin of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., XIV (1966-67), 205-29.


Edward Arber, A Transcript of the Register of the Company of Stationers of London, 1554-1640 (5 vols.; 1875-77); G. E. B. Eyre and C. R. Rivington, A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers from 1640-1708 (3 vols.; 1913-14).


W. W. Greg and E. Boswell, Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company, 1576 to 1602 — from Register B (1930); W. A. Jackson, Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company, 1602 to 1640 (1957).


Collier, Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company from 1557 to 1587 (1853).


Hyder E. Rollins, An Analytical Index to the Ballad-Entries (1557-1709) in the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London (1924); W. W. Greg, The Decrees and Ordinances of the Stationers' Company, 1576-1602 (1928); Greg, Licensers for the Press, &c to 1640 (1962); Greg (with C. P. Blagden and I. G. Philip), A Companion to Arber (1967); D. F. McKenzie, Stationers' Company Apprentices, 1605-1640 (1961). See also such works as Philip Lee Phillips, "List of Books Relating to America in the Register of the London Company of Stationers, from 1562 to 1638," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1896 (1897), I, 1249-61; Fred S. Siebert, "Regulation of the Press in the Seventeenth Century: Excerpts from the Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company," Journalism Quarterly, XIII (1936), 381-93. Graham Pollard is editing Liber A of the Stationers' Company for the Bibliographical Society.


With an introductory note by A. W. Pollard, "The Stationers' Company Records," p. 348. The list covers materials through 1799.


Ransom, The First Copyright Statute (1956); a useful "Short Calendar of English Literary Property, 1476-1710" appears on pp. 119-34, and "Leading Cases before 1710" on pp. 135-36.


Kirschbaum, Shakespeare and the Stationers (1955), esp. pp. 25-86; "The Copyright of Elizabethan Plays," Library, 5th ser., XIV (1959), 231-50; "Author's Copyright in England before 1640," PBSA, XL (1946), 43-80.


Greg, Some Aspects and Problems of London Publishing between 1550 and 1650 (1956); see esp. "The Stationers' Records," pp. 21-40, and "Entrance and Copyright," pp. 63-81.


E. M. Albright, Dramatic Publication in England, 1580-1640 (1927); W. J. Couper, "Copyright in Scotland before 1709," Records of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society, IX (1931), 42-57; Graham Pollard, "The Company of Stationers before 1557," and "The Early Constitution of the Stationers' Company," Library, 4th ser., XVIII (1937-38), 1-38, 235-60; R. C. Bald, "Early Copyright Litigation and Its Bibliographical Interest," PBSA, XXXVI (1942), 81-96; Percy Simpson, "Literary Piracies in the Elizabethan Age," Oxford Bibliographical Society Publications, n.s. I (1947), 1-23; Giles E. Dawson, "Copyright of Plays in the Early Seventeenth Century," English Institute Annual 1947 (1948), pp. 169-92; C. J. Sisson, "The Laws of Elizabethan Copyright: The Stationers' View," Library, 5th ser., XV (1960), 8-20; Cyprian Blagden, The Stationers' Company: A History, 1403-1959 (1960).


The period between this event and 1710 has been called the "years of confusion" by A. W. Pollard, in "Some Notes on the History of Copyright in England, 1662-1774," Library, 4th ser., III (1922-23), 97-114.


See John W. Draper, "Queen Anne's Act: A Note on English Copyright," Modern Language Notes, XXXVI (1921), 146-54; A. S. Collins, "Some Aspects of Copyright from 1700-1780," Library, 4th ser., VII (1926-27), 67-81; Ransom, pp. 94-117; Cyprian Blagden, "The Stationers' Company in the Eighteenth Century," Guildhall Miscellany, I, no. 10 (1959), pp. 36-53; F. C. Avis, "The First English Copyright Act," Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1961, pp. 182-84.


David Foxon is editing The Stationers' Register, 1710-46 for the Bibliographical Society.


There is also a series of manuscript indexes of the registers: the first 28 volumes of registers (Ind 5791-5818), for example, are indexed by Ind 5996-6004. But the published indexes usually make it unnecessary to consult these manuscript volumes.


From 1847 to 1854 foreign entries are in the general registers (Ind 5794-5797) but indexed separately (Ind 6012-6015). From 1854 to 1891 there are separate foreign registers (to 1883, Ind 5876-5889, indexed by Ind 6016-6029; from 1883 to 1891 for books, Ind 5890-5894, indexed by Ind 6030-6034; from 1883 to 1890 for foreign assignments, Ind 5899, indexed by Ind 6039); and after 1891 the foreign entries are again in the general registers, except for foreign dramatic and musical entries, 1883-1912 (Ind 5873-5875, 5900-5901, indexed by Ind 6008-6011, 6040-6041).


104 Eng. Rep. 1109. A convenient summary of English registration and deposit provisions is in Benjamin Kaplan, "The Registration of Copyright," Copyright Law Revision Studies, No. 17 (1960), pp. 1-9; a fuller study is S. A. Olevson's in Copyright Law Symposium, No. 10 (1959), pp. 1-74.


Red denoted purchased copies, and green or yellow indicated donations. These practices, as well as the deposit provisions and the use of deposit copies for bibliographical purposes, are summarized by James J. Fuld in The Book of World-Famous Music (1966), pp. 16-18. A survey of English deposit practices from the time of Bodley is Robert Partridge's "The History of the Copyright Privilege in England," Library Association Record, 3rd ser., II (1932), 41-48, 73-83, and The History of the Legal Deposit of Books throughout the British Empire (1938); see also J. C. T. Oates, "The Deposit of Books at Cambridge under the Licensing Acts, 1662-79, 1685-95," Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, II (1957), 290-304; and Philip Ardagh, "St. Andrews University Library and the Copyright Acts," Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, III (1956), 179-211.


Since the English law was not specific about foreign works, the interpretation of the law by the courts varied throughout the century. Although British publishers were often willing to pay for advance sheets of American works (just as American publishers did for English books), the legal status of any copyright claim thus secured was not at all clear. The English law of 1838 granted copyright protection to foreign works only on a reciprocal basis, and, since the United States did not provide for copyright of English works, copyrighting an American work in England appeared to be technically impossible. Sir Frederick Pollock reaffirmed this view in Boosey v. Purday (5 June 1849), opening the way for the Routledge piracies of 1850. In 1854 prior publication was regarded as a means of securing English copyright only if the author was present in the United Kingdom at the time of publication (the reason for certain American authors' "Canadian copyrights" later in the century).


David A. Randall, "Waverley in America," Colophon, n.s. I (1935), 39-55; Arno L. Bader, "Captain Marryat and the American Pirates," Library, 4th ser., XVI (1935), 327-36; Robert E. Spiller, "War with the Book Pirates," Publishers' Weekly, CXXXII (1937), 1736-38; Lawrence H. Houtchens, "Charles Dickens and International Copyright," American Literature, XIII (1941), 18-28; W. S. Tryon, "Nationalism and International Copyright: Tennyson and Longfellow in America," American Literature, XXIV (1952), 301-09; Herbert Feinstein, "Mark Twain and the Copyright Pirates," Twainiana, XXI (1962), 1-3 (May), 1-4 (July), 1-4 (Sept.), 3-4 (Nov.). See also George T. Goodspeed, "Wiley and Putnam's Library of American Books: Notes on International Copyright," PBSA, XLII (1948), 110-18; and Clarence Gohdes, American Literature in Nineteenth-Century England (1944).


See Arpad Bogsch, "Protection of Works of Foreign Origin," Copyright Law Revision Studies, No. 32 (1961), esp. pp. 1-8. The literature dealing with the international copyright relations between the United States and England is particularly large. Some of the relevant documents are reprinted in "'Bookaneering' or Fair Play?", History Reference Bulletin, X (1937), 113-28. See also Albert J. Clark, The Movement for International Copyright in Nineteenth Century America (1960); Gohdes, pp. 14-46; Harry G. Henn, "The Quest for International Copyright Protection [1837-1953]," Cornell Law Quarterly, XXXIX (1953), 43-73; Joseph V. Hoffman, "The Position of the United States in Relation to International Copyright Protection of Literary Works [1891-1953]," University of Cincinnati Law Review, XXII (1953), 415-61; and some of the works listed in the Mertz bibliography under such authors as A. L. Bader, A. J. Eaton, F. Freidel, H. A. Howell, M. M. Kampelman, J. A. Rawley, and T. Solberg.


The Celler copyright revision bill (introduced in July 1964) was preceded, in 1960 and 1961, by an important and scholarly series of 34 Copyright Law Revision Studies, prepared by various authorities for the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary; most of the studies have historical sections, and a consolidated subject index for the whole series has been issued. A thorough explanation of the 1967 form of the bill is Report No. 83 (254 pp.) of the 90th Congress, 1st Session; Benjamin Kaplan discusses the bill in An Unhurried View of Copyright (1967), pp. 79-128; and Henry B. Cox takes up "The Impact of the Proposed Copyright Law upon Scholars and Custodians" in American Archivist, XXIX (1966), 217-27. See also the six parts of the Copyright Law Revision Reports (1961-65) and the three parts of Hearings (1966). The bill, passed by the House, is still pending in the Senate as of 1968.


For a description, see "The Copyright Office" in the Report of the Librarian of Congress for . . . 1901, pp. 278-91; William D. Johnston, History of the Library of Congress (1904), esp. pp. 439-50; David C. Mearns, The Story Up to Now (1947), esp. pp. 90-94; and Barbara A. Ringer, "No Place for Poetic License: The Copyright Office at LC," Library Journal, XC (1965), 2958-63.