The Public Domain Review

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Canada Through a Lens: the British Library Colonial Copyright Collection

Tuesday 2 July 2013 at 12:57

CURATOR’S CHOICE #1: PHIL HATFIELD AND ANDREW GRAY FROM THE BRITISH LIBRARY Phil Hatfield, British Library Curator in Canadian and Caribbean Studies, and Andrew Gray, British Library Wikipedian in Residence, kick off our brand new Curator’s Choice series by taking a look at the fascinating array of photographs in the British Library’s Canadian Colonial Copyright Collection. Copyright collections – those aggregations of published material accumulated by libraries as a result of copyright deposit laws – can provide a unique view of the world; especially when they have the opportunity to add photographs to their holdings. With minimal curatorial involvement in their selection and collection, as well as few gate keepers beyond the administration fee required to register copyright, you could say that such caches of material are a rare thing – a photographic world selected by myriad photographers themselves. This is the format of the British Library‚Äôs Colonial Copyright Collection of Canadian photographs, over 4,000 images registered for deposit and collected by the Library between 1895 and 1924. By and large the contents of the collection have been copyrighted as a result of the quality of the shot, the potential to make money from the photograph or, most likely, a […]