BHO users may have noticed that we are gradually adding the inventory series of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England. Since this is an architectural series there are, of course, many photographs and diagrams – totalling about 20,000 across the entire series. A large part of the work in digitising this series has been in determining who owns the copyright for each image and, where copyright needs to be cleared, contacting the relevant body or individual to ask their permission.
We have been very pleased that so many of the organisations we have contacted have willingly allowed us to use their copyrighted material. A few organisations did ask for a fee; when we explained that this we have no budget for paying for licences and that we are making the volumes free for all to use, in a continuation of the print project for which copyright was originally granted, a number then kindly waived fees for us. A few organisations were not able to waive fees and this means that where their images would have been displayed there will be a placeholder referring users to the printed volume.
We would like to thank all those organisations who have generously allowed us to use their images. Their public-spiritedness has meant that this rich resource of text and images will be available to anyone with an interest in English local history.
We are now in the process of trying to locate and contact individuals who may own copyright to certain images. We have published a list of them on this blog – if you know any of them please do contact us.
Finally we would like to give special thanks to Rachael Lazenby, who worked with us on the project as the Permissions Controller. Rachael worked through the 20,000 images with outstanding attention to detail and a rigorous methodology that made things very easy for the rest of the team. Because of the complexity of the process, Rachael has written a report laying out her approach to the project. This may well be useful to others, so we have placed Rachael’s report on our institutional repository, from where anyone is welcome to download it.