Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity

On July 8, 1870, Congress centralized the administration of copyright law in the Library of Congress. The U.S. Copyright Office hosted a virtual celebration in recognition of our 150th anniversary—“Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity”—on August 5, 2020.

Since its establishment 150 years ago, the Office has driven the evolution of copyright law and been a key player in copyright law revisions, from the Copyright Act of 1909 to the Copyright Act of 1976 to the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act and beyond. The Office also provides critical services, helping copyright owners protect their works and preserving a public record of the country’s creativity.

“Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity” highlighted the rich and sometimes surprising history of the Copyright Office and copyright itself, the importance of the Office’s connection with creators and users of copyright-protected works, and the role of the Office in engaging creativity through a conversation with Copyright Office experts, past and present. Presenters included

  • John Cole, Library of Congress historian and author
  • Frank Evina, curator of prior Copyright Office exhibit and former senior information specialist, Copyright Office
  • Heather Wiggins, supervisor in the Literary Division of the Registration Program, Copyright Office, and adjunct professor

“Copyright Office Presents: Celebrating 150 Years of Creativity” kicked off a yearlong celebration with special events and activities to mark this anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the Copyright Office is building awareness of how copyright can "Engage Your Creativity.” For more resources and selected videos, visit our new Engage Your Creativity webpage.