[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

a no notes policy

A while back, archival copying policy was discussed on this list. Some
libraries provide a copy for research and study; others require written
permission of the copyright owner. All evidently allow a reader to copy by
hand extracts or the entire text of a copyright document.

An exception to this freedom may be noted. In 1936, 50 copies of T.E.
Lawrence's The Mint were published by Doubleday, Doran to protect the U.S.
copyright. To prevent sales, the book was priced at $500,000, yet to
obtain copyright, two copies were deposited in the Library of Congress.
For some reason--the request of Doubleday; of Lawrence's brother Arnold,
his literary executor (Lawrence died in 1935); or (most likely) of the
British embassy, as the book gave a devastating picture of the Royal Air
Force which, if widely known, could have damaged RAF recruitment
(Lawrence's will barred publication before 1950)--the LoC prohibited
readers from taking notes. Henry Seidel Canby read The Mint at the library
and reviewed it in the Nov. 21, 1936 Saturday Review, but he took no notes
and did not use direct quotes.

Query: Does anyone know: 1) why the Library of Congress accepted and
enforced this unusual provision? 2) comparable provisions at LoC or other
archives, whereby a reader may examine a document but make no notes?

Harold Orlans