This project explored the limits (and costs) of EU and UK copyright policy as it impacts the digitisation of unique and distinctive artistic collections. The researchers adopted a case study approach and perform a rights clearance simulation on the Edwin Morgan scrapbooks, a culturally significant mixed-media collection of unpublished artistic works from the early to mid-20th Century in the collection of the University of Glasgow Library.
The problem that orphan works pose for cultural heritage institutions who want to enable the widest possible digital engagement with our shared cultural heritage is substantial. There has been a twin-track response to this problem in the UK, in the form of the exception implemented under the Orphan Works Directive operating in tandem with the Orphan Works Licensing Scheme (OWLS). This approach offers greater opportunities than many other European countries for developing digitisation initiatives that can be tailored to institutional collections, needs, budgets and ambition. Crucially, however, both schemes are tethered to the requirement of diligent search.
The project research, including guidance notes for the GLAM sector and an interactive scrapbook sample can be found here: www.digitisingmorgan.org
CREATe blog posts
Project outline and summary of outputs
Introducing ‘Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks‘
Diligent Searching in the Dark: Carrying out diligent search for images out of context
Talking Copyright at the Barras: Using the project in a public event
Training and Launch: GLAM sector training
University Library blog posts
Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks – Introduction
Edwin Morgan & the Fortean Society
Display at Your Own Risk Project
Can I just Google that?: Essay on using Image Recognition Tools for diligent search