Thursday, 28 May 2015

2039, Alfred Marshall and copyright

A lot of people will know that the Marshall Library of Economics contains quite extensive archival materials. Papers by and relating to Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) are one of the bigger parts of our manuscript and type-written collection. 22 archival boxes, various larger volumes and objects give a good picture of Marshall’s prolific life as a writer, academic, and author.

Whereas a fair amount of his writing was published, and some of these publications are even available online, not all has been made available to the public. As with many authors who left us with a substantial quantity of writings, in Marshall’s case we have quite a few unpublished texts in our collection.

PG in May 2015
Very recently, Philomena Guillebaud, Marshall’s great-niece, transferred ownership of copyright to the Marshall Library. For most published works this is of little significance, as the copyright of published texts by Marshall ran out on 31 December 1994 (70 years after his death); however, in the UK any unpublished materials remain “in copyright” until 2039, a date set in 1989 to discontinue perpetual copyrighting of unpublished writings.

PG and CG in May 2015
Thanks to Ms. Guillebaud’s actions, the Marshall Library will now be in a position to respond to scanning and copying requests, as well as to enquiries about publishing unpublished materials, in a more direct manner. The Library is very grateful to Ms. Guillebaud’s generous gift, and hopes that this will help the Marshall Library to assist scholars better. If you have any interest in Marshall’s papers, please contact us.