Spotlight On: Copyright Office

Copyright: Copyright Office of the Stationers’ Company

Read the video transcript

We hope you enjoyed watching our Education Service video with visual collections researcher Katherine Howells looking at records from the copyright office, COPY 1. This video focusses on two records concerning: the Suffragettes (1910) and the Worker’s Compensation Act (1906).

Now try and answer the following questions:

  • What type of images can be found in the copyright collection?
  • What type of literature is found in the collection?
  • What is the value to historians of the registration form which usually accompanied an image?
  • What was the significance of the Copyright Act 1862?
  • Why are gloves worn when handling photographic sources?
  • Can you find some other examples of COPY 1 sources used in resources on the Education Website?

Photograph: Black Friday Demonstration, 1910 COPY 1/551

  • What is happening in this photograph?
  • What type of photograph is this?
  • Why has this photograph been taken do you think?
  • How was this photograph later used to criticise the government?
  • How is this photograph useful for understanding the suffragette movement?
  • What is the value of photographs as opposed to written documents?
  • How does the registration form with this photograph help us to interpret the content?

Artwork: New Compensation Act, Tom Browne, 1908 COPY 1/334

  • Who was Tom Brown?
  • Can you describe the artwork he created and registered?
  • How does Brown use humour and design to criticise the Workman’s Compensation Act 1906?
  • What can we infer from this source about:
    (a) Attitudes to the working class
    (b) Attitudes to the new Workman’s Compensation Act
    (c) Sense of humour at that time
    (d) Employment?
  • What sources could help us find out more about other responses to the Workman’s Compensation Act?

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