Available Indexes

Copyright Review Program

Please contact Kristina Hall at keden@hathitrust.org for information on how your institution can take part in this important work.   Additional information is located on the page Participating in Copyright Projects



The Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) has enabled large-scale, distributed investigations into the copyright status of works in the HathiTrust collection. Since 2008, over 50 reviewers at 22 libraries have reviewed 600,000 items, determining that more than 320,000 are no longer protected by copyright and have entered the public domain. This is approximately 5.7% of the current 5.6 million volumes that are fully viewable in HathiTrust. The focus of the project has been on works published:

1)    In the United States, published between 1923 and 1963 (CRMS-US)
2)    In the United Kingdom, published before 1943 (CRMS-World)
3)    In Canada and Australia, published before 1963 (CRMS-World)

The program has been a stellar example of cooperative action to address a significant problem: the lack of knowledge that we have about the copyright status of our collective collections. In addition to making large numbers of books openly viewable, the program has developed a rigorous process for the investigation of copyright status, which can be used to model investigations of other content. In April 2016, the ALA recognized the program with the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award, which recognizes “contributions ... that demonstrate dedication to a balanced U.S. Copyright system through advocacy for a robust fair use doctrine and public domain.”

From 2008-2015, the CRMS program was generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) and managed by the University of Michigan Library Copyright Office.  It is now operated by HathiTrust.

Program goals: 2016-2018

Copyright Review of US Monographs dated 1923-1963

Works published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 were the basis of the first CRMS project. The pool of candidates was largely completed in 2014 as focus shifted to publications with UK copyright. The ongoing addition of materials to HathiTrust has resulted in a rebuilding of the pool, which we began reviewing again in January 2017.

Scope : Monographs published in the United States in the years 1923-63.
Candidate pool : 83,900
Staffing (2017): 26 reviewers, approx. 4.7 FTE
Staffing update (2018): 28 reviewers, approx. 5.2 FTE
Reviewer commitments : Through December 2018


Copyright Review of US State and Local Government Documents

State government documents, unlike works of the U.S. federal government, are not by default public domain but rather receive protection under copyright law to the same degree as any other publication. However, if a state government published a work prior to 1978 and did not affix copyright notice, copyright protection for that work was lost and the work can be considered to have entered the public domain. This pool of candidates has been reviewed as a pilot until now. With the continued interest from researchers and a high value public domain return rate (around 70%) we upgraded this from a pilot to an official project in January 2017.

Scope : Monographs published by US state and local governments in the years 1923-77.
Candidate pool : 65,500
Staffing (2017): 6 reviewers, approx. 0.6 FTE
Staffing update (2018): 25 reviewers, approx. 2.4 FTE
Reviewer commitments : Through December 2018


HathiTrust Copyright Review, participating institutions for 2019

  • Boston College
  • California Digital Library
  • DePaul University Library
  • Duke Law Library
  • Georgia State University
  • Lafayette College
  • McGill University
  • Penn State University Libraries
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Texas State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • UCLA
  • University of Arizona Libraries
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • University of Virginia
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington State University
  • Yale University



Finding the Public Domain, published by Michigan Publishing in June 2016 with funding from IMLS, is a comprehensive guide to understanding CRMS methods and to aid others in implementing similar copyright projects. This toolkit provides a window into the collaboration, research methods and technology behind CRMS, and aims to share this transformative activity broadly. Finding the Public Domain is available for free as an e-book. Print copies, offered for sale on a cost recovery basis, are available through Amazon.


Accomplishments: 2008-2018 


Volumes determined

Public domain

U.S. publications (1923-1963)



United Kingdom, Canada, Australia (1870’s-1940’s)








CRMS-US, IMLS National Leadership grant (2008-2011)

Scope: U.S. monographic publications, 1923-1963
The grant website is archived in Deep Blue at https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/139678
Final report to IMLS: February 15, 2012 (pdf)

CRMS-World, IMLS National Leadership grant (2011-2014)

Scope: U.S. monographic publications, 1923-1963 (cont’d from prior grant); UK monographs before 1943, Canadian/Australian monographs before 1963
The grant website is archived in Deep Blue at https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/139679
Final report to IMLS: December 2011 to November 30, 2015 (pdf)

CRMS-Toolkit, IMLS National Leadership grant (2014-2016)

Scope: UK monographs before 1943, Canadian/Australian monographs before 1963 (cont’d from prior grant); pilot review of non-serial U.S. state government documents 1923-1977; and publication of a toolkit for copyright review based on the CRMS model.
The grant website is archived in Deep Blue at https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/139679
Interim report to IMLS: December 2014 to November 30, 2015 (pdf)


Program staff

HathiTrust/University of Michigan copyright review team

  • Kristina Hall, copyright review program manager
  • Moses Hall, lead programmer
  • Greg Nichols, trainer and expert reviewer
  • Heather Shoecraft, state government documents project manager
  • Melissa Levine, legal specialist (UM Copyright Office)
  • Justin Bonfiglio, legal specialist (UM Copyright Office)

Current copyright reviewers from institutional partners

  • Boston College: Naomi Rubin
  • California Digital Library: Renata Ewing (expert reviewer)
  • DePaul University: Wendall Sullivan
  • Duke Law Library: Marsha Perry
  • Georgia State University: Laura Burtle
  • Lafayette College: Terese Heidenwolf
  • McGill University: Louise Robertson
  • Penn State University Libraries: Grace Brooks, Melanie Rinker, Nicolle Nicastro (expert reviewer), Jenn Phillips, Tracy Reilly, Mark Leskovansky, Kelly Riley
  • Princeton: Jennifer Block (expert reviewer)
  • Stanford University: Judy Marsh
  • Temple University: Fred Rowland
  • Texas A&M University Libraries: Laura Sare
  • Texas State University: Margaret Vavarek, Scott Pope, Amanda Scott
  • The Ohio State University: Allison DeVito
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Cynthia Baker, Cynthia Cowan, Lisa Gregory, Anne Conway
  • UCLA: Kip Hannan
  • University of Arizona Libraries: elissa Mondschein, Dana Von Berg
  • University of California, San Diego: Kelly Smith
  • University of California, Santa Cruz: Sue Perry
  • University of Houston: Bethany Scott
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Qiang Jin
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: Jeremy Smith, Lisa Di Valentino
  • University of Michigan: Greg Nichols (expert reviewer), Heather Shoecraft (expert reviewer)
  • University of Minnesota:  Rory Segety (expert reviewer), Melissa Aho, Marlys McGuire
  • University of Notre Dame: Monica Moore
  • University of Pittsburgh: Jonah McAllister-Erickson, David Frank
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville: Rachel Caldwell, Kris Bronstad
  • University of Virginia: Bill Corey, Hanni Nabahe
  • Wake Forest University: Melde Rutledge
  • Washington State University: Talea Anderson
  • Yale University: Judy Marsh

Previous copyright reviewers and staff from institutional partners



  • Melissa Levine, Kristina Eden. Finding the Public Domain webinar presented for ALA CopyTalk. September 1, 2016.
  • Bernadette Bartlett, Kyle Courtney, Kristina Eden and Kris Kasianovitz. State Government Information and the Copyright Conundrum, webinar presented for Indiana Networking for Documents and Information of Government Organizations (INDIGO). June 15, 2016.
  • Bernadette Bartlett, Kyle Courtney, Kristina Eden and Kris Kasianovitz. State Government Information and the Copyright Conundrum, webinar presented for Help! I'm an Accidental Government Information Librarian. April 25, 2016.
  • Argryi Panezi, Melissa Levine, Kristina Eden. The International Framework and the Reality of Copyright Determination: Copyright Developments in the US, the EU and WIPO and Briefing on the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS). DPLAfest 2016, Washinton D.C. April 15, 2016.
  • Michael Furlough, Kristina Eden. Copyright Reviews and Access in HathiTrust. presented for HathiTrust membership. March 16, 2016.
  • Bernadette Bartlett, Kyle Courtney, Kristina Eden, and Kris Kasianovitz. State Government Information and the Copyright Conundrum, presented for ALA OITP CopyTalk. February 4, 2016. Slide presentation.





Kristina Hall, Copyright Review Program Manager