Primary Sources on Copyright 1450-1900

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is a collection of key primary documents from five countries—the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—that trace the development of copyright from the invention of the printing press through the dawn of the 20th century. The documents were selected for inclusion by a scholar from each represented country with the assistance of an editorial board. The collection is a powerful research tool, organizing primary documents into a timeline conducive to browsing. Visitors to the site have many options for browsing the documents: by place, language, institution, legislation, case law, and keyword. The website also provides a simple keyword search. Each document is accompanied by extensive descriptive metadata providing context. One of the greatest strengths of this collection is the commentary written by the documents’ selectors that accompanies many of the documents. Translations are available for documents in languages other than English. The image viewer offers three levels of zooming and the ability to download a PDF version. Unfortunately only one page can be downloaded at a time. Images of the original documents may be viewed alongside transcriptions or translations of the text. This website offers a stellar collection of materials for students and scholars of copyrigh