Finding Usable Digital Data – Library of Congress

Digital Humanities scholarship thrives when sources are accessible and unrestricted. This blog details the contents of six different sites that offer a blend of open and restricted materials.

  • Library of Congress
  • Rights statements appear in the metadata of each item in the collection.  For example, images in the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection indicate that “The Library of Congress is not aware of any copyright restrictions in the National Women Suffrage Association Collection. Researchers should watch for modern documents (for example, foreign works and works published in the United States less than 95 years ago, or unpublished if the author died less than 70 years ago) that may be copyrighted.” The site makes clear, however, that it is the user’s responsibility to determine the legal status of items.
Catt, Carrie Chapman, Former Owner, and National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. How It Feels to Be the Husband of a Suffragette. [New York: George H. Doran Company, 1915] Pdf.
  • The Library of Congress (LOC) website hosts vast digital collections. Topics such as American History, World Cultures and Society, and Women’s History allow viewers to find materials.  Although the status of most LOC items is indicated in the metadata for the item, LOC has a “Free to Use and Reuse” collection.  The Library believes that these sources are in the public domain, without copyright, or cleared by the copyright owner for public use.  The website makes clear that additional items that are in the public domain can be found on the site but may not be listed in the “free to use” section.  The themes in the free-to-use section include natural disasters, disability awareness, families, African American women changemakers, and much more.
  • PD_Digital Collections PD_sources PD_manuscripts PD_images

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