British Library Medieval Manuscripts go Public Domain!!

I have been very out of the medieval blog loop – the end of last semester was pretty busy – but how did I miss THIS announcement in late November?

The British Library is treating its medieval manuscript collection as though it is public domain!


The catalogue is designed to increase public access to the British Library’s rich collections, and we want to encourage even greater use and enjoyment of these collections.  Technically these works are still in copyright in the UK until 2040, but given that they are anonymous and many centuries old, the Library has decided to provide the images on the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts under a Public Domain Mark and treat them as public domain works, as would be the case in many other countries.  For more information, please see the library’s use and reuse policy for CIM.  We ask that you maintain the library’s Public Domain tag, and provide a link or other credit back to the image’s source on the British Library’s site – help us share these riches even more widely with the world. (my emphasis)

Wow – is that ever sensible!

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