catalogcardDo you have an ancestor who published a family history or other work? If so, they may have claimed copyright with the Library of Congress. The image above is a sample from a new digitization project at the U.S. Copyright Office. Staff member Mike Burke recently wrote a blog entry about this new database, which I think may be of some eventual value to genealogists. He writes:

The U.S. Copyright Office has a comprehensive set of records about books, periodicals, music, motion pictures and other works that were registered with the Office between 1870 and 1977.  The records include transfers and assignments of rights reported to the Office.  Until now these records have existed only in paper and microfilm form, but the Office has an exciting project underway to convert these non-digital records and make them available via the web.  Over 13 million catalog cards have already been digitized as well as more than half of the Catalogs of Copyright Entries published since 1891.  This latter set is available for searching through the Internet Archive.

The Copyright Office is working on digitizing these records and has launched Copyright Matters: Digitization and Public Access, a blog to publicize the project’s goals, objectives and progress. Please visit the blog and feel free to submit your thoughts and ideas about getting the most out of these records for genealogical research.