Scrapbook newspaper clippings

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  • I have scrapbooks of newspaper clippings that are not in public domain. The scrapbooks are in binders and file folders. The are all of a specific topic such as the history of the library and clippings realted to local soliders. Please let me know if I need to obtain copyright of these clippings? I want to digitize these and post them on a state digital repository. 

  • Hello. 

    Depnding on the individual characteristics of the clippings, digitizing some and providing access is probably a fair use - no profit, a curated collection bringing individual items to gether to make meaning, great for rearch and scholarship, no profit motive, mostly (if not all) factual works about the history of your local library etc.

    But one would also have to assess how risky is it to digitize these clippings and make them publically available.  Are any of the clippings from newspapers that are still being published?  How old are they?  Is there any notation regarding copyright or who holds the copyright?  You might want to pick out the ones that are older, from publications that no longer exist etc.

    New York Public Library has a big digital exhibit on New York Worlds Fair from 1939-40.

    The staff there made the determination that the benefits of the digitization project far outweighed any risk.  To the best of my knowledge, they have had no issues, but I believe they post this message in the metadata for each image


    "The copyright and related rights status of this item has been reviewed by The New York Public Library, but we were unable to make a conclusive determination as to the copyright status of the item. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use."

    You might also want to review a nice article about risk assessment by Kevin Smith

    Or this by Katie Fortney

    Good luck!







  • We struggled with this question while we worked through the May 4th Digitization Project here at Kent State. We ultimately included a great many of them because they were an integral part of the letter that was written or the report that was presented, etc. Frequently, they had personal markings on them. Some were poorly cut or even torn. In all cases, they're yellowed with age. Some we did not include because the same clippings were shared over and over. We did a fair use evaluation for each item. The system posts a copyright statement that appears in the metadata of each subcollection.

    However, we did ask permission for some items. We worked closely with our three local papers to get blanket permission and to make them aware of the project. 

    I hope this helps! Please feel free to send any questions my way.


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