What a great project. A terrific combination of new technology and old to make a tremendously valuable resource available to anyone with an interest in copyright and a computer connected to the Net. The organisers of the project are holding a conference in March.
This two day conference is the culmination of a research project involving the creation of a digital resource concerning the history of copyright in five key jurisdictions; France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US, for the period before 1900. The project involves the selection of certain key documents, their digitisation, transcription, and translation. The project will create a free electronic archive of primary sources from the invention of the printing press (ca1450) to the Berne Convention (1886): in facsimile and transcription, translated and key word searchable. The documents will include statutes, materials relating to legislative history, case law, tracts, and commentaries. Editorial headnotes will provide context. The project is entirely publicly-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and benefits from an advisory board of internationally-recognised experts in relevant fields. When complete, the digital resource will be hugely valuable to scholars from all disciplines interested in the history of copyright. More information about the project is available at Primary Sources on Copyright History.