Browsing our rare books shelves, I came across two red leather slipcases marked “Exemplaire de Marguerite de Valois”. Curiosity got the better of me and I opened the cases to discover two small but exquisite volumes of the 16th century knight’s tale, “Amadis de Gaula”. Each volume is beautifully bound in 16th century Parisian morocco, lavishly decorated with gilt wreaths, small flowers and thistles.
A little research identified these volumes as once belonging to the library of the Venetian diplomat, Pietro Duodo (1554-1611), the binding’s provenance being established by the distinctive stamps used: the upper cover contains the armorial crest of the Duodo family; the lower displays Pietro Duodo’s personal motto, “Expectata non eludet” (“She whom I await with longing will not elude me”).
From 1594 to 1597, Duodo served as ambassador to King Henry IV in Paris, and took advantage of his residency to accumulate a gentleman’s travelling library of 90 works in 133 volumes. He commissioned a Parisian workshop to produce richly decorated, personalised bindings that were colour-coded by subject: literary works were finished in olive-brown morocco; theology, philosophy and history in red; and medical titles bound in citron.
The ambassador never had the opportunity to enjoy his library – he was unexpectedly recalled to Venice in 1597 and was unable to collect the books. They remained in Paris, packed away and untouched for two centuries, until rediscovered during the French Revolution. The volumes were mistakenly attributed to the library of Marguerite de Valois, possibly due to the ornamental daisies on the covers, and were immediately highly prized by collectors. Pietro Duodo was not identified as the true owner until 1925, long after his library had been dispersed.
Most researchers are familiar with the ’70 year rule’ – that copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. But this currently only applies to published works. As mentioned in our previous blog post, the copyright of unpublished manuscripts, such as handwritten literary drafts or musical scores, remains with the author’s descendants until 2039, regardless of the age of the manuscript. Where a descendant cannot be traced, the work is classed as orphan.
Orphan works cannot be reproduced in any form until 2039. The British Library estimate that orphan works constitute 40% of works held by European archives – a vast reserve of knowledge unable to be shared beyond the confines of the reading room. Of particular concern are archives held in actively decaying formats such as celluloid film and audio tape. If such a work is orphan, it is currently illegal for archivists to create even a single digital copy in order to safeguard a recording’s future.
The news that the UK Government has accepted the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, and the changes this will mean for copyright law, will be a great relief to those caring for and working with archives.
The Government plans to implement a Digital Copyright Exchange. This will allow archives to purchase a copyright licence for a nominal fee, which will allow them to reproduce and share the orphan works in their care. The funds will be held by the Exchange against the possibility of the copyright holder coming forward and seeking recompense. In the event that this does not occur, the funds will be released after a reasonable period of time, and allocated for social or cultural purposes.
SCOLAR will report on confirmed changes to copyright law when they are announced this autumn.
Cardiff University are currently undergoing a weed and restructure of their Research Reserve. As part of this weed a number of books on genetics were passed to us to be included in the Human Genetics Historical Library. Many of these items are old editions of textbooks, useful for the HGHL but not especially interesting in themselves. So, it was with delight that the following three books were found to be included in the latest batch, helping to populate the evolution and early genetics sections of the library.
On the genesis of species by St. George Mivart (1871) is the oldest book so far to be added to the collection which mainly comprises 20th century texts. It takes the premise that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is insufficient to explain all the phenomena connected to the origin of species, and attempts to offer an alternative view of ‘natural laws’. Rebound at some point in its history by University College Cardiff, it contains a large number of black and white illustrations of a variety of species.
The germ-plasm: a theory of heredity by August Weismann (1893) was translated from the German by W. Newton Parker who was a professor at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire at the time (an early incarnation of Cardiff University). This copy was donated to the college library in 1939 by Dr A. H. Trow from the Botany department. The work presents a theoretical explanation of heredity.
Evolution & ethics and other essays by Thomas H. Huxley (1901) was originally printed in 1894 as part of the Eversley Series published by Macmillan. The title piece was a lecture delivered at the University of Oxford, the second of the annual lectures founded by Mr Romanes. Huxley was renowned as a biologist, an anatomist and for being an advocate of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This item was presented to the college library in 1943 by a W. Tattersall who had acquired the book as a prize for mathematics at Bootle Technical School.
SCOLAR recently received a request to perform a piece of music by Welsh composer Morfydd Owen at the Machynlleth Music Festival. This handwritten musical score is held in SCOLAR; it is perhaps the only copy, and has never been published. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the piece is still in copyright. Under current legislation, copyright in unpublished works is held by the descendants of the creator until 2039. Where descendants cannot be traced, the work is classed as orphan. Orphan works cannot be reproduced – whether by photocopy, photograph, or in the case of a musical or dramatic work, performance, until 2039, regardless of their age.
Anyone who has tried to trace relatives will know that the process is very complex. In the case of Morfydd Owen, the search was aided by the existence of a number of renowned family members.
We knew from a marriage certificate in the archive that Morfydd married psychoanalyst and biographer of Freud, Ernest Jones. Morfydd died childless at the age of 27, but Ernest went on to have four children by a later marriage. One of them was writer Mervyn Jones, who died last year. Fortunately, due to Mervyn’s renown, he had a literary agent, who kindly passed on the contact details of Mervyn’s daughter. As the granddaughter of Morfydd’s husband’s second wife, she was very surprised to find out that she had responsibility for granting copyright permission for Morfydd’s work. We are very grateful to her, not only for permitting the performance at Machynlleth, but also for allowing SCOLAR to grant copyright permission on her behalf for the collection in future. Not only will the performance go ahead, but Morfydd’s wartime compositions are now able to feature in an upcoming bid to JISC to digitise Welsh World War One archives.
We are very pleased to announce that Morfydd’s Piano Trio will be performed by the Milos Milivojevic and the Juritz Quartet at the Machynlleth Music Festival, which runs from 21-28 August 2011.
SCOLAR will shortly be reporting on recently announced proposed changes to copyright law which will hopefully lessen the burden on researchers wishing to reproduce or perform orphan works.
The Cardiff Rare Books Collection contains several editions of the first emblem book, the Emblemata of Andrea Alciato, which combined allegorical images, verse and text to deliver a powerful moral message to readers.
Emblem books were a form of illustrated book which gained enormous popularity in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and typically consisted of a number of woodcuts or engravings accompanied by a short explanatory passage. Each combination of emblematic image and commentary was intended to inspire the reader to reflect on a moral lesson which could only be derived from the reading of both picture and text together.
Andrea Alciato (1492-1550), an Italian lawyer, wrote the text for the Emblemata, first published in Augsberg by Heinrich Steyner in 1531 and reprinted many times in various editions and translations. SCOLAR holds six editions of the Emblemata printed between 1548 and 1799, together with examples of many other emblem books from across Europe.
Emblem books can provide scholars with unparalleled insights into the social and cultural life of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and with opportunities for interdisciplinary research into iconography, use of allegory and symbolism, printing history, decorative arts, and the relationship of text to image.
Ymddangosodd TTP (Turning The Pages) yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol am y tro cyntaf yn ystod yr wythnos. Mae TTP yn cynnwys meddalwedd i droi tudalennau mewn 3D ar sgrin 40″, ac mae’n cynnwys 10 o’r llyfrau prinnaf yn SCOLAR – o’r 14g hyd at yr 20g. Bydd TTP ar gael i deithio o amgylch Cymru mewn fersiynau symudol, er mwyn dangos trysorau ein llyfrau prin i’r cyhoedd. Prifysgol Caerdydd yw’r unig sefydliad yng Nghymru sy’n defnyddio TTP i hyrwyddo eu casgliadau arbennig.
TTP - Troi'r Tudalennau
[ TTP appears in the National Eisteddfod for the first time. ]http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/eisteddfod/