Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries says that its project to digitise images and make them available for free has now passed its 1 millionth image.

Most of the images on Digital Bodleian are made available under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, with attribution (CC-BY-NC 4.0). This means that users are able to use, distribute, remix, and adapt the images made available on Digital Bodleian, for non-commercial purposes — so long as you credit the Library as the source.

Commercial use is available – for a fee.

Launched in 2015, the Digital Bodleian website is a free resource that covers everything from illuminated manuscripts from medieval Europe and centuries-old maps to Victorian board games and British political election posters from the last 100 years.

Oxford, Bodleian Library (E) C17:70 London (10)

The one-millionth image to be digitized was from an original notebook of poet Jenny Joseph, who studied at St Hilda’s College and maintained a connection with Oxford all her life. It shows the first draft of her poem, ‘Warning’, which was voted the ‘nation’s favourite poem’ in a BBC poll in 2006.

The digital library is here.


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  1. Mike Peel says:

    This is blatant copyfraud – the images are in the public domain already, so you can’t apply extra restrictions like non-commercial (which makes no sense anyway) or requiring attribution.

    • ianVisits says:

      You might want to check your facts first – while an underlying image can be out of copyright, the scanned version is not. You are free to visit the library and take a scan of the image yourself and release that scan for free, but there’s no obligation on anyone to do so.

    • Mike Peel says:

      If it’s a faithful reproduction, you don’t get a new copyright of it. It’s disputed/a grey area in law technically, but see things like Bridgemen vs. Corel in the US.

    • Jamie Awdry says:

      We’re not in the US. Can’t you just be pleased they’re making such an effort to preserve for future generations?

      “edited by ianVisits to remove rude response – please keep comments civil”

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