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COVID-19 and The GW Law Library

Effective Monday, March 23, the Jacob Burns Law Library will be closed to help flatten the COVID-19 infection curve.

View the two guides below for information during this period.

GW Law Library COVID-19 Operations

Information for Students Regarding Online Learning

Pre-1870 Copyright Records

Pre-1870 copyright records that never made it to the Library of Congress, many of which were assumed lost.

About this Guide

This is a guide to pre-1870 copyright records that never made it to the Library of Congress, many of which were generally assumed lost (even though they mostly ended up at the National Archives).

Until mid-1870, copyright registration duties were handled by the local U.S. District Court of the author or proprietor, while the work itself was deposited with the Department of State (until 1846), Library of Congress (1846-1859, 1865-1870), Smithsonian Institution (concurrently 1846-1859), and Patent Office (1859-1865, 1865-1870 concurrently). In 1870 all copyright responsibilities were centralized in the Library of Congress.

Read more.

Zvi S. Rosen

Zvi Rosen

I am currently a Visiting Scholar and Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School. Before this I served as the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office.

My blog: Mostly IP History

Email me: zrosen@law.gwu.edu