Project Goals

The Pre-1978 Copyright Registration Records

The U.S. Copyright Office holds the most complete and accurate collection of copyright records of ownership in the world. The majority of works recorded in the card catalog may still be under copyright protection, and the value of accessing accurate, complete, legal records of copyright ownership cannot be understated. The Copyright Office’s card catalog is the principal finding aid for information about registrations, transfers, and assignments of pre-1978 copyrights. Cards within the catalog contain titles; authors; claimants; pseudonyms; assigned registration; and recorded document numbers; and key copyright facts.

Digitizing and Integrating Copyright Office Pre-1978 Records

In 2014-2015 the Copyright Office completed the digitization of pre-1978 records for preservation. The Office is now capturing pre-1978 digital content and is moving towards integrating the content and card images into the existing online record. The 1891 to 1977 Catalog of Copyright Entries (CCE), consisting of compilations of records of registrations and renewals, was digitized in 2012. The CCE does not contain all registration updates and does not contain entries for recorded documents, including assignments, and should not be used as the only reference.

Recorded Documents

The Copyright Office has PDF image files of recorded documents that were made from microfilm copies. Integration of Recordation documents into the Copyright registration records is under development.