(Quilt History Research)
Four Corner or Mirror Eagle Quilt
Circa 1870 – 1900
The U.S. Copyright Office released a series of “hard” copy catalogues from 1891 through 1978 called the Catalogue of Copyright Entries (CCE) and from 1979 through 1982 the CCE was issued in microfiche. These catalogues listed the publications that were copyrighted for a given year and in the majority of cases who registered the copyright.
Beginning January 1, 1978 the U.S. Copyright Office made its records searchable online at http://www.copyright.gov/records/ but as of 2008 there is no one search engine or source where you can search the records online before that date.
Many public, private, and university libraries throughout the United States are digitizing portions of their collections. Thanks to the hard work of these libraries and depositories and the Google Books search engine you can easily find many of these digitized books online in their unabridged form.
Here is what I discovered….
While looking for some information about a designer, I made a discovery that I want to share with you. I was looking for information about Sophie T. LaCroix in connection with another project I am working on because I was trying to fill-in some blanks on my timeline by using some of the instruction books associated with the company. Sometimes when I hit a wall, instead of becoming “blocked,” I will put a keyword with parenthesis into a search engine such as Google or Google Books or Google News like “Sophie T. LaCroix” to see what comes up because I am a believer in “taking action” to knock down the wall. By doing this, I have found small pieces of information that have led to a breakthrough.
When I typed in Sophie’s name, up came a list of entries including one called Catalogue of Copyright Entries. I looked to see if the catalogue was no preview, limited preview, snippet view, or full view. If an item on Google Book is full view, you can read
the entire book online just as if you had walked into a library and had taken it off the shelf.
When I clicked on the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, I discovered a list which included the copyright dates for two of Sophie T. LaCroix previously “undated” books from the 1910s. This information helped give me “working dates” for a section of my timeline and added a new piece of information to my research.
The Sophie T. LaCroix search and others I have done using this method is not a concrete research tool, by that I mean there is no Catalogue of Copyright Entries Search engine or a concrete “date spread” which says you can search the early years from this date to this date. This is a hit and miss tool, but it might help you discover a small piece to your puzzle, add all those small pieces together and you will eventually have a complete picture.
If you want to do an extensive copyright search you can contact the U.S. Copyright Office and request a search or you can go to the Library of Congress and do your own search. If you want additional information about Copyright Search try their web site at www.copyright.gov