Heppner Gazette-Times now online, 1923-1951!

Just in time for the holidays! Thanks to a partnership with the Morrow County Museum and the current Heppner Gazette-Times newspaper in Heppner, Oregon, historic issues of The Gazette-Times (1912-1925) and the Heppner Gazette-Times (1925-1951) are now available for keyword searching and browsing on Historic Oregon Newspapers online!

Clipping from the Heppner Gazette-Times reads: "Morrow County, Oregon - The Last Frontier - Bids You Welcome. Heppner and Morrow County Welcomes Settlers, Investors. Heppner, The County seat. Early History of Morrow County." Included is a photo of the "High School building at Heppner, erected in 1912 at approximate cost of $47,000.00"

Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, February 09, 1928, 45th Anniversary Booster Edition, Image 35. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071042/1928-02-09/ed-1/seq-35/

The Morrow County Museum has partnered with the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) to digitize a wealth of historic newspaper content from Heppner, and these new additions provide a comprehensive view of the area’s history from a local newspaper perspective. (Please see our blog titled “Morrow County Now Represented in Historic Oregon Newspapers Online!” for an introduction to the history of Heppner.)

The following Heppner titles are currently available for viewing online, free and open to the public:

The majority of content on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website was published before 1922, due to the public domain copyright law that allows free and open use of anything published on or before Dec. 31, 1922. The new additions from The Gazette-Times and the Heppner Gazette-Times, as well as the post-1922 content from the Heppner Herald, is made possible with copyright agreements from the publishers for a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial license. This means that any content that you find on the site that was published after 1922 can be used for non-commercial purposes, as long as proper attribution is given to the publisher and the Historic Oregon Newspapers website. For more information on copyright and newspapers, see our blog titled “Copyright and Historic Newspapers.”

Clipping from the Heppner Gazette-times shows an illustrated winter scene of a family walking and riding a horse-drawn carriage through the snow fallen landscape, with text that reads "May All the Blessings of the Yuletide Season be Yours the Joyous Holiday Time."

Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, December 19, 1946, Image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071042/1946-12-19/ed-1/seq-3/

‘Tis the season for exploring Oregon’s history through newspapers! Discover these and other Oregon newspaper titles at Historic Oregon Newspapers online, using the Title page to browse, the Search page to do advanced keyword searches across the collection, and the History page to learn more about newspaper history (more essays coming soon!). Happy Holidays!

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Partnership with Hood River County Library District Provides New Content for Historic Oregon Newspapers Online!

Historic newspaper content from the Hood River News (1909-1913), the Maupin Times (1914-1930), and previously missing content from The Dalles Weekly Chronicle is now available for searching and browsing online at Historic Oregon Newspapers, thanks to a partnership with the Hood River County Library District, with funding from Google’s The Dalles Data Center and the Hood River Cultural Trust.

Hood River Illustration - the West Shore

An Historic Illustration of Hood River from the West Shore from 1887. The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, November 01, 1887, Image 9 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2012260361/1887-11-01/ed-1/seq-9/

Located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge among the Cascade Mountains, the community of Hood River was incorporated in 1895 as part of Wasco County, but became the county seat of the newly established Hood River County in 1908. At the confluence of the waters descending from Mount Hood meeting the Columbia River, the town is known for shipping, agriculture, brewing, and outdoor recreation.

Maupin Masthead

The Maupin times. (Maupin, Or.) 1914-1930, September 02, 1914, Image 1 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088123/1914-09-02/ed-1/seq-1/

 

The Maupin Times, published from 1914-1930 in Maupin, Oregon, on the Deschutes River in Wasco County, describes the rural happenings of the agricultural community east of Mount Hood, 40 miles from the Columbia River. Historic Oregon Newspapers online offers issues of the paper’s full run from 1914-1930.

Salmon in Maupin

Big local news includes Salmon Fishing as the source of leisure and commerce along the Deschutes River in 1915. he Maupin times. (Maupin, Or.) 1914-1930, May 14, 1915, Image 1 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088123/1915-05-14/ed-1/seq-1/

 

HR News Masthead

The Hood River news. (Hood River, Or.) 1909-current, January 01, 1913, Image 1 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83009939/1913-01-01/ed-1/seq-1/

 

The Hood River News began publishing in 1909, and continues to this day. In the 1939, the newspaper won the National Editorial Association trophy for best editorial page. Newly digitized issues of historic content from the News cover 1909-1913. Vivid full-page advertisement spreads accentuate the bold graphic style at the heart of this paper, not to mention the local coverage of the Hood River community!

Hood River XMas 1911

The Hood River news. (Hood River, Or.) 1909-current, December 20, 1911, Image 6 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83009939/1911-12-20/ed-1/seq-6/

 

 

D W C masthead

The Dalles weekly chronicle. (The Dalles, Or.) 1890-1947, December 20, 1890, Image 1 http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2003260222/1890-12-20/ed-1/seq-1/

 

Also unique to Historic Oregon Newspapers online is previously missing issues of The Dalles Weekly Chronicle.  The Dalles is county seat of Wasco County, home to a major hydro-electric dam and locks and connection to central Oregon. It represented the end of the river for those settling the Oregon Trail, where they might head toward Portland on the Barlow Road.  In 1890, the town was a rail and boat hub, and the Weekly Chronicle was founded on issues of flooding and water access for the area.  Although portions of this title have been available on the site for a few years, we have now filled in gaps in the content for 1893, July-Dec. of 1894, 1899, and 1900, so all content from Dec. 1890-1900 is now available.

Enjoy all the new papers made available through the historic preservation efforts of these remarkable partnerships, and find more history at Historic Oregon Newspapers!

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Beaverton Papers Now Available!

Thanks to the funding and partnership of the Beaverton Library Foundation and the Beaverton Historical Society, the Beaverton Owl and Beaverton Times are now available on Historic Oregon Newspapers online.

Quick history of Beaverton

Beaverton is a community to the west of Portland, Oregon. Its name comes from beaver dams that could be found in the formerly marshy country; in fact, the area had been named Chakeipi, place of the beaver, before settlers arrived. The town was incorporated in 1893 with a population around 400. Today, Beaverton has around 93,542 people.

Historic Papers in Beaverton

The Beaverton Owl and the Beaverton Times began as the Beaverton Reporter in 1909, before being bought by Earl E. Fisher and changed to the Owl.

You Will Like Beaverton

The Owl has the creative feature of having a unique tagline above the masthead in each issue. Often, the sayings are enticing people to visit or enjoy the town of Beaverton. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088375/1914-05-16/ed-1/seq-1/

We have issues of The Beaverton Owl from July 20 1912 to May 16, 1914.  You can easily access these issues in the Historic Newspapers Calendar View. Additionally, you can easily search the title for terms.

Fishing Poem - Times

A paean to fishing in The Owl, a hobby particular to the creeks and streams of the Northwest where trout run on the Willamette and Columbia watersheds.

Like the Report before it, the Owl was succeeded by The Beaverton Times in 1914 after being purchased by Hicks & Davis.

Historic Oregon Newspapers online now has weekly coverage of The Beaverton Times from August 19, 1915 – June 9, 1922.  Browse the issue calendar, or search the paper.

1919 - BT - Roads Grow

Clippings from the Beaverton Times in 1919 speak to the city’s rapid growth and modernization in connection with the growth of the metropolitan region. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088374/1919-08-01/ed-1/seq-1/

Find even more interesting stories from Beaverton and all around the state at Historic Oregon Newspapers online.

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The Aurora Borealis Now Online!

Thanks to a partnership with the Aurora Colony Historical Society and Museum of Aurora, Oregon, issues from May-December 1908 of the town’s historic newspaper, The Aurora Borealis, are now available for keyword searching and browsing at Historic Oregon Newspapers online!

Clipping shows masthead from the Aurora Borealis

The Aurora borealis. (Aurora, Or.) 19??-1909, May 28, 1908, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088477/1908-05-28/ed-1/seq-1/

Founded as a Christian communal colony in the 1850s, Aurora was populated by several hundred members of the Bethel Colony in Missouri, mostly German and Swiss immigrants, led by founder Wilhelm Keil across the Oregon Trail. Despite hardships in the new frontier, Aurora colonists thrived until Keil’s death in 1877 and the subsequent dissolution of the colony, which is now incorporated as the City of Aurora.

Clipping reads: "Aurora is conceded by all to be one of the prettiest residence towns in the Valley. Surrounded by the finest farming country in Oregon, and populated with as good people as you can find anywhere, why shouldn't it be desirable to locate in?"

The Aurora borealis. (Aurora, Or.) 19??-1909, August 13, 1908, Image 2. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088477/1908-08-13/ed-1/seq-2/

Content from The Aurora Borealis can be browsed by issue date via the website’s calendar view, and keyword searches of the title can be performed on the Search page by selecting “The Aurora Borealis” on the “Select Newspaper(s)” list. The paper covered news at all levels, including world, national, state, and of course local:

Clipping from the "Personal and Local" section of the paper reads: "The Wilsonville baseball nine will play the Sherwood WhiteSox at Wilsonville on Sunday, June 21. The occasion will be the celebrated German picnic, where everybody in attendance is expected to enjoy themselves to the limit. Frank Miller went to Portland on business Wednesday. Miss Mary Schuman of San Francisco is visiting relatives in Aurora and vicinity. Otto Blosser had the misfortune to mutilate his finger while working on a buggy at Sam Miller's livery stable last Thursday, making it necessary for the doctor to lance it. He is unable to do any kind of work as a result. COW FOR SALE - One fresh milk cow. E.W. Smidt, Aurora, Oregon, R.F.D.3."

The Aurora borealis. (Aurora, Or.) 19??-1909, June 18, 1908, Image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088477/1908-06-18/ed-1/seq-3/

Explore the many articles, advertisements, and other interesting tidbits that The Aurora Borealis has to offer, and discover Oregon’s history at Historic Oregon Newspapers online.

 

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Hillsboro Now Represented on Historic Oregon Newspapers Online!

Several historic newspaper titles from Hillsboro, county seat of Washington County, Oregon, are now available for keyword searching and browsing online at Historic Oregon Newspapers, thanks to a partnership with the Hillsboro Public Library! The following titles can be found listed in alphabetical order on the Historic Oregon Newspapers Titles page, and they can be selected for title-specific keyword searching on the Search page:

Washington Independent

Masthead from the Washington independent. (Hillsboro, Washington County, Or.) 1874-18??, September 21, 1876, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn84022654/1876-09-21/ed-1/seq-1/

Washington County Independent

Masthead from Washington County independent. (Hillsboro, Washington County, Or.) 18??-188?, January 17, 1881, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93051620/1881-01-17/ed-1/seq-1/

The Independent. A Government of the People, for the People, and by the People.

Masthead from The independent. (Hillsboro, Washington County, Or.) 188?-189?, April 26, 1888, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93051621/1888-04-26/ed-1/seq-1/

Hillsboro Independent

Masthead from Hillsboro independent. (Hillsboro, Washington County, Or.) 189?-1932, September 08, 1893, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088159/1893-09-08/ed-1/seq-1/

The Argus

Masthead from The Argus. (Hillsboro, Or.) 1894-1895, August 09, 1894, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088160/1894-08-09/ed-1/seq-1/

The Hillsboro Argus

Masthead from The Hillsboro argus. (Hillsboro, Or.) 1895-current, August 15, 1895, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn84006724/1895-08-15/ed-1/seq-1/

Here are just a few clippings from these titles that we found to be interesting, but there are countless more headlines, articles, advertisements, images, and other curiosities just waiting to be discovered in these Hillsboro newspapers!

Photo of a street, with caption: "street scene in Hillsboro"

Hillsboro independent. (Hillsboro, Washington County, Or.) 189?-1932, February 08, 1907, Image 8. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088159/1907-02-08/ed-1/seq-8/

Article from the Hillsboro Argus states: "Washington County, the county bountiful of Oregon. By virtue of location alone, Washington County is most favored. Being just a short run from Portland, the business center of the state, furnishes opportunity for the farmer to go there, dispose of his products and return home the same day. This is, of course, always a most valuable phase of the situation, for many people of means desire to live within comparatively easy access to a metropolis, and when the projected electric road is complete, Hillsboro will be an ideal spot for the country homes of Portland business men who can go to and from the city with promptness and comfort."

The Hillsboro argus. (Hillsboro, Or.) 1895-current, February 07, 1907, The Resources of Washington County, Image 5. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn84006724/1907-02-07/ed-1/seq-5/

Clipping shows photo of an older couple with text that reads: "Sixtieth anniversary. There are few couples who live to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary, but Hillsboro has one. Mr. and Mrs. J.Q. Adams, of Seventh Street, were wedded sixty years April 18, and all the living sonds and daughters were in attendance excepting Charles E. who lives in Texas, and Mrs. Chas Coffin, of Todd, Alaska. Twenty-seven grandchildren were in attendance. A splendid time was enjoyed by the descendants of this worthy couple. The Argus joins in wishing Mr. and Mrs. Adams many more anniversaries."

The Hillsboro argus. (Hillsboro, Or.) 1895-current, June 03, 1920, Image 5. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn84006724/1920-06-03/ed-1/seq-5/

 

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Klamath Tribune Broadens Scope of Historic Oregon Newspapers Online

The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) is pleased to announce the addition of the Klamath Tribune to the Historic Oregon Newspapers online keyword-searchable database! Published in Chiloquin, Oregon from 1956-1961 by the Klamath Information and Education Program (a facet of the Oregon State Department of Education), this is the first newspaper solely covering Tribal issues that we have digitized and added to the website, in partnership with the Klamath Tribes and a generous University of Oregon Libraries donor.

Klamath Tribune Masthead

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, February 01, 1960, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1960-02-01/ed-1/seq-1/

The Klamath Tribune was published in the wake of the U.S. Congress’ 1954 decision to terminate federal recognition of the Klamath Tribes, which include the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Band of Paiute Indians. The decision was controversial, given that an official report from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) stated that the Klamath Tribes did not meet the criteria for termination, and there was major opposition from Tribal members. The Klamath Termination Act, otherwise known as Public Law 587, was framed in the context of helping the Tribes, but the effects of termination were overwhelmingly negative. (More information can be found online at The Klamath Tribes’ website.)

Clipping reads: "It is the purpose of this article to explain to the Klamath people the methods we intend to use and the objectives of the informational program as authorized under section 26 of Public Law 587. Public Law 587 provides for the ending of federal supervision over the property and income of the Klamath Indians, both as a tribe and as individuals. This means that under the law as passed, individual members of the tribe will no longer be subject to Federal control over their property and income as of August 13, 1958."

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, November 01, 1956, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1956-11-01/ed-1/seq-1/

The Klamath Information and Education Program was created to help Tribal members assimilate into Anglo-American culture. Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Klamath Tribune appeared in November of 1956 as a means of communication with Tribal members in preparation for termination and to inform them of educational opportunities available to them under Section 26 of the termination law, which stated that:

Sec. 26. Prior to the issuance of a proclamation in accordance with the provisions of section 18 of this Act, the Secretary is authorized to undertake, within the limits of available appropriations, a special program of education and training designed to help the members of the tribe earn a livelihood, to conduct their own affairs, and to assume their responsibilities as citizens without special services because of their status as Indians. Such program may include language training, orientation in non-indian community customs and living standards, vocational training and related subjects, transportation to the place of training or instruction, and subsistence during the course of training or instruction. For the purposes of such program the Secretary is authorized to enter into contracts or agreements with any Federal, State, or local government agency, corporation, association, or person. Nothing in this section shall preclude any Federal agency from undertaking any other program for the education and training of Indians with funds appropriated to it. Approved August 13, 1954."

Section 26 from Public Law 587, “An Act to provide for the termination of Federal supervision over the property of the Klamath Tribe of Indians located in the State of Oregon and the individual members thereof, and for other purposes.”

The Klamath Tribune included:

Tribal news, with a focus on education-related news items and individual achievements:

Photo of two young women working with test tubes and other scientific equipment, with caption that reads: "Helen Nelson Now Studying Medical Technology At O.T.I. Under Klamath Education Program."

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, February 01, 1958, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1958-02-01/ed-1/seq-1/

“Q&A” sections about the Termination law (otherwise known as “Public Law 587″):

Clipping reads: "Public Law 587 Information Given; Questions Raised by Tribal Members. Following are some of the questions concerning public law 587, which have been asked most often by members of the Klamath Tribe with the answers to those questions. General: 1. Question: If a member of the tribe elects to withdraw under the termination law or decides to sell his allotted lands, must he leave the reservation? Answer: No, as a citizen of the United States he is free to live anywhere he chooses. However, if he sells his land to another person, he can no longer live on those lands without the new owner's permission. 2. Question: Under Public Law 587, at what point will cash payment be made to those who wish to withdraw from the tribe? Answer: Under section 5 a (3), it is provided that whenever funds from sale of tribal property have accumulated in the amount of $200,000 or more, such funds shall be distributed equally to the members electing to withdraw. Thereafter distribution shall be made any time such funds total $200,000 or more until all the property set aside for sale has been sold and the funds distributed. Guardianships: 1. Question: What is section 15 of Public Law 587 and what is its purpose? Answer: Section 15 relates to guardianships for tribal members who need guardians. Section 15 was included to make sure that the money and property of minors and persons adjudged to be mentally incompetent by a state court are protected. Section 15 also deals with persons who for other reasons need help in handling their money and other property. 2. Question: Were guardianship law established for the Klamath Indians only? Answer: No, section 15 conforms to existing laws in Oregon requiring that guardianships be established to protect the property of minors and others in need of protection. The property of any child in Orgon, Indian or non Indian, can not be handled by another person without the establishment of a guardianship. 3. Question: What are the steps in setting up a guardianship in Oregon?"

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, November 01, 1956, Image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1956-11-01/ed-1/seq-3/

Recommendations for agriculture, ranching, and home-keeping practices:

Clipping shows an illustration of an alfalfa plant, and says, "Alfalfa has a deep tap-root system. Because of this characteristic it does not do well on soil that has a hardpan near the surface. Often subsoiling or chiseling is only of temporary benefit, but it will help the roots to penetrate into the subsoil. Good drainage, both surface and sub-surface, are necessary for a thrifty alfalfa stand. During winter when the plants are dormant they may withstand several days of flooding, but during the growing season one day of flood may harm them greatly."

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, November 01, 1956, Image 4. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1956-11-01/ed-1/seq-4/

Information on water rights, and other political, economic, and environmental issues:

"Water Use Increases Crop Production, Protects Water Rights. Will you have any water rights after termination? You can greatly strengthen your right to the use of irrigation water by developing it before termination. The time to start that irrigation system is right now so it can be used this year."

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, April 01, 1957, Image 4. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1957-04-01/ed-1/seq-4/

Although Tribal perspectives were included, the paper was primarily dedicated to persuading Tribal members to actively learn and participate in the dominant Anglo-American culture and way of doing things:

Advertisement says "Have You Registered to Vote? Deadline for registration in Oregon is October 7, 1960...For the City of Chiloquin election register at the Chiloquin City Hall. Register, then vote. Power in a democracy springs from the People." Illustration shows a line of different people waiting to go to the voting booth, with a stereotypical-looking Native American, labeled "Ed Chilquin", at the end of the line.

Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, September 01, 1960, Image 4. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2004260350/1960-09-01/ed-1/seq-4/

The last issue of the Tribune was published in July of 1961. By 1986, the Klamath Tribes were successful in restoring their federally recognized tribal status through the Klamath Restoration Act. The addition of the Klamath Tribune to the Historic Oregon Newspapers database is a crucial step towards representing the full range of Oregon’s history and cultural heritage in our online newspaper collection. Go check it out, explore, and see for yourself! You never know what you might find in the newspaper pages of the past.

Sources:

Robbins, William G. “Subtopic : People, Politics, and the Environment Since 1945: Termination.” The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/narratives/subtopic.cfm?subtopic_ID=171&gt;

The Klamath Tribes. “History.” The Klamath Tribes. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.klamathtribes.org/history.html&gt;

The Klamath Tribes. “Termination.” The Klamath Tribes. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.klamathtribes.org/background/termination.html&gt;

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Copyright and Historic Newspapers

If you have used Historic Oregon Newspapers online or the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, you might have noticed that most of the newspapers that are freely available for keyword searching and browsing were published before 1923. Why this seemingly arbitrary cutoff date, you might wonder? The answer is both simple and complex, and can be summarized in one word: copyright.

Public Domain

In the United States, anything published on or before December 31, 1922 is considered to be in the Public Domain, which means that it is not protected under copyright, and no copyright permission is needed to copy, digitize, or use the publication in any way. With the wealth of newspapers published before 1923, we have focused our digitization efforts primarily on Public Domain content first, making as much of this content available as possible while avoiding the extensive research that’s often needed to determine the copyright status of post-1922 publications.

Traditionally, works fall into the Public Domain 75 years from the first date of publication. However, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 essentially froze the Public Domain cutoff date at Dec. 31, 1922 until 2019, at which point works published in 1923 and beyond will start to fall into the Public Domain on a rolling basis. So, newspapers published in 1923 will be in the Public Domain in 2019, papers published in 1924 will join the Public Domain in 2020, and so on. (That is, unless another Act is passed freezing the cutoff date yet again…)

Creative Commons

Any content that you might find on Historic Oregon Newspapers that was published after 1922, has been made available to the public via a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 United States License. For example, for Ashland High School’s Rogue News, which is available online from 1929-1973, we obtained permission from the publisher to digitize and make these pages available through Creative Commons. Under the Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0. license, users can “share, copy, re-distribute, remix, transform, and build upon the material, but appropriate credit must be given with a link to the license, and users must indicate if changes were made, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use” (creativecommons.org). Any post-1922 content on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website may not be used for commercial purposes.

Copyright Status Research

Copyright status becomes a bit more complicated for newspapers published after 1922. Luckily there are several online resources available to help guide and assist this process, such as the American Library Association’s Digital Copyright Slider or the U.S. Copyright Office’s Circular 22: How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work, which will help you figure out where to start. Cornell University’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States page also provides a very clearly defined guide for identifying general copyright status based on year of publication and other factors.

  • Published between 1923 and 1963

An investigation will need to take place to determine the copyright status of works published between 1923 and 1963, since these publications may or may not be protected under copyright. During this time period, all publications containing a copyright notice were required to renew their copyright 28 years from the date of publication in order to protect all past issues and guarantee copyright protection for the following 67 years (for a total of 95 years from date of publication). For example, a newspaper first published in 1920 would have to renew copyright in 1948 in order to keep all past issues protected and to remain protected until 2015. However, if the paper did not renew copyright in 1948, all past and future issues would fall into the Public Domain. If a publication was printed without a copyright notice during this time, it is also now in the Public Domain.

Luckily, the U.S. Copyright Office’s Catalog of Copyright Entries books have been digitized and are available for viewing online. These books can be viewed by year, from 1891-1978, and by type of publication (newspapers are classified as Periodicals), and reveal whether or not and when copyrights were registered and renewed. Some of the books are keyword searchable, and others are currently being indexed. The University of Pennsylvania has put together a guide with links to each of the digitized books by year.

  • Published between 1964 and 1977

Anything published during this time period without a copyright notice is in the Public Domain. If a copyright notice is present, the publication is protected for a flat rate of 95 years, with no action needed for renewal. A paper published in 1964 with a copyright notice will not move into the Public Domain until 2059, so if you want to use or digitize material published during this time period containing a copyright notice, copyright permission will definitely be needed.

  • Published between 1978 and present

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “A work that is created and fixed in tangible form for the first time on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death.” If the author is unknown, works published during this time period are guaranteed protection for 95 years. From 1978 to present, the Catalog of Copyright Entries can be accessed as an online database.

Additional Resources

Is It In the Public Domain? A Handbook for Evaluating the Copyright Status of a Work Created in the United States Between Jan. 1, 1923 and Dec. 31, 1977 and accompanying Flowchart Visuals – by Menesha A. Mannapperuma, Brianna L. Schofield, Andrea K. Yankovsky, Lila Bailey, and Jennifer M. Urban of University of California, Berkeley, Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic

How to Determine Whether a Work is in the Public Domain – by Dennis S. Karjala, Professor of Law, Arizona State University

Public Domain – Creative Commons Wiki

Library Digitization Projects and Copyright – Part 1 (Introduction and Overview) – by Mary Minow, Library Law Consultant, LibraryLaw.com

Library Digitization Projects and Copyright – Part 2 (Expiration of Works into the Public Domain) – by Mary Minow, Library Law Consultant, LibraryLaw.com

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