Allowing digitization of historic library materials

← Return to forum

  • I was contacted by a company since it was interested in digitizing materials in our local history roomfor its product that it hopes to sell to the public for a monthly fee and we could potentially receive a small amount of revenue.


     While I appreciate its interest in digitizing local history especially since I don't have library staff to do it – I have some concerns about whether I really could or should permit this  given copyright and other ownership concerns about the materials 


    While I think books published before 1925 – would be in the public domain – I don’t know whether they’ve been copyrighted later.


    While we have various photographs collected over the years – I don’t often know when or how we obtained these photos, for example?

    I imagine I would want to be sure to be careful to refrain from signing anything that says that I am giving the company copyright – I don’t have copyright – so I can’t give it to anyone and I would not want to be assuming liability if anyone sued over the materials being up without copyright permissions.

    I suppose I could adopt copyright wording and ask the company if it is willing to sign something agreeing to assume all liability for “publishing” the material. after working with my city attorney's office?

    Does anyone else have any wisdowm you can share please?

    Thnaks, Ed




  • I would work with the city attorney's office.  And also check if the company that approached you is reputable. All of your concerns are justified. Good luck!



Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.

← Return to forum