Are you ready for our next crowdsourced transcription campaign?

Please join the Rare Book and Special Collection Division and the Copyright Office on October 7, 2021 from 3:00-4:30 ET for a lively (virtual!) discussion of early American copyright.

This program is a celebration of new materials now available on the Early Copyright Records Collection website, which includes books, sheet music, prints, maps, dramatic compositions, advertising labels, patent drawings, and much more!

You can also explore these fascinating documents more intimately by participating in the new By the People crowdsourcing campaign, American Creativity: Early Copyright Title Pages. This upcoming campaign will be available for participation on Thursday, October 7.

Speakers for this event will include John Cole, Historian of the Library of Congress; Zvi Rosen, Legal Scholar of Copyright at the University of Southern Illinois, and George Thuronyi, Head of the Office of Public Information and Education at the United States Copyright Office. Read more about them below.

Register for this free event on Zoom:

A Celebration of American Creativity: The Early Copyright Records Collection

Full Speaker Bios and Abstracts:

  • John Cole is the founding director of the Center for the Book and the Library of Congress Historian. He has published widely about books and libraries in society as well as about the history of the Library of Congress.

John Cole will give a give a presentation on the fascinating life and times of Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1825-1908), 6th Librarian of Congress. Cole will lead us through Spofford’s early beginnings as a publisher in Cincinnati up through his impressive achievements accomplished as Librarian of Congress where he went on to make important contributions towards building the Library’s collections and establishing copyright at the Library of Congress.

  • Zvi Rosen, Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois School of Law. Rosen was the 2015-2016 Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office, and taught at Hofstra, the University of New Hampshire, and New York Law School as well Southern Illinois School of Law. He has written extensively on the historical development of copyright and trademark law in the United States, with a focus on the 19th and early 20th century.

Rosen will take the audience through the historic twists and turns of the establishment of U.S. Copyright law and discuss how these records were kept, maintained, and eventually transferred to the Library of Congress. He will walk through the structure of a pre-1870 copyright registration with a review of the format and forms used to regulate the process.

  • George Thuronyi, Head of the Office of Public Information and Education (PIE) at the United States Copyright Office. Thuronyi oversees PIE as it provides authoritative information about copyright law to the public by publishing comprehensive written and audiovisual materials, developing educational and informational programming, and responding to a wide variety of copyright and Copyright Office-related inquiries.

Thuronyi will elaborate on the functions and offerings of the modern Copyright Office that has been part of the Library of Congress since 1870.

We look forward to seeing you there!