Using images from public library special collection?
November 2, 2011 3:34 PM Subscribe
How do I choose an image from a large collection of rare (or rare editions of) illustrated children's books at the public library? The Friends of that Library would like to use one of the images to promote a fundraiser for the collection, and I need some help navigating copyright and practical issues surrounding that choice.
posted by saguaro to grab bag (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The image will be sourced from a book in the collection, which has about 3,000 titles in it. I have a copy of a spreadsheet list of the collection, as well as an Access database of the records that I don't know how to use. I also have physical access to the collection if I need it. I'd like to visit the collection with a severely narrowed list, say 10-20 titles.
Ideally the first round of narrowing would bring me a list of books that I could use straight away, without having to track down copyright holders and request permission. Does there exist a set of criteria or other free solution that would help me tell which books/illustrations are in the public domain? (Secret underlying question: Am I going to need to be tracking down and emailing one million copyright holders?) There are also many titles published in Europe and Asia, where do I stand in relation to those?
From there I plan to narrow further by features (color) and subject (Fairy tales, etc). Practically, what's the best way to get the illustration I choose out of these books? It's likely that individual original editions will have failing/delicate bindings. I have access to any number of cameras and scanners. Dismantling the book is not an option, and even joking about it got me shooed out of the children's library right quick.
Are there other aspects of this that I need to consider? So far in my attempts at this project I've discovered a depth of intricacy that is beyond me, but I'd like to learn how to go about it.