A Beginner’s Guide to Copyright

We’ll be running our Beginner’s Guide to Copyright session at Derbyshire Record Office at 10.00 am on Tuesday 28th January.


The session will help community groups and individuals understand the basic principles of Copyright law and look at how we can use works which are currently protected by copyright.

What can you do? What can’t you do? What is right and what is copyright?

Tickets are £3.72. To book a place, please use our Eventbrite Page.

Did You Know?

Lit Dram Mus.png

                 Literary,                                     Dramatic and                         Musical Works

remain in copyright for:

                    70 years after death; or 70 years after creation, or of being made available to the public; if this is within the 70 years of the death of the author.

However, if any of these works are unpublished it may remain under copyright protection until at least 31 December 2039.

Even a published work can remain in copyright until this date, if the author of died before 1969.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act defines Published as the issue of copies to the public, by transfer of ownership (for example, by sale).

This definition also covers electronic copies.


Did You Know?

Before July 1912, the original copyright holder was the creator of the photo, i.e. the photographer. Surely not a surprise.

However between July 1912 and July 1989, the original copyright holder was the owner of the material on which the image was taken, i.e. the negative. This could be a corporate body such as Magnum Photos. So the creativity in taking the photo no longer mattered!

Fortunately, for the photographer, since August 1989 copyright law again regarded them as the creators, and therefore the original copyright holders.

Copyright is never as simple as you think. If you don’t know the date of the photo, you might be trying to trace the wrong source for permission to reproduce the image.


Did You Know?

Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, Works of Artistic Craftsmanship require an element of artistic merit not considered with most other types of artistic work.

The Act offers no definition for artistic merit, but it is generally accepted that a work of Artistic Craftsmanship requires skilled craftsmanship and is intended to have aesthetic appeal, e.g.                                                                                                                                                                            stained glass windows, bookbinding, needlework and designer clothing.


Did You Know?


The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act defines              Musical Works as:

“Original works combining melodies and harmonies, of any date, which are capable of being performed to produce sounds appreciated by the ear, and which are recorded in writing or some other form.”


However, “sounds appreciated by the ear” is undefined in the Act, but is not subjective.

woman wearing leather jacket with tongue out

A Week’s Work Experience at Derbyshire Record Office

Posted on behalf of James Slinn of Matlock, who volunteered between 1st and 5th July 2019.

Work experience this week has been enjoyable. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience about the archives, ordering, locating, retrieving, issuing documents, and conservation work.

On the first day, I had an introduction and tour of the Record Office lead by Paul Beattie. He walked me down into the archives; I found this bit very interesting. Many records and old documents are kept here. I was particularly interested in Edmund Potter`s, (Beatrix Potter’s grandfather) pattern books. These were full of brightly coloured images.

Edmund Potter

On Monday afternoon I was in the Records Management office with Mark Smith who told me about what a records management is and how they deal with enquiries, I found this bit really quite interesting.

On Tuesday, I listened to a presentation on the Derbyshire Record Office. I also spent time working on a project researching dates for historical buildings and significant Derbyshire folk. I learnt a lot about the History of Derbyshire.

On Wednesday, I spent time in the Local Studies Library researching my family ancestors. I found this fascinating and found out information about my family history that I never knew and was able to take this information back to my parents. I answered some enquiries in the computer room where I learnt how to use the card catalogue.

discovering franklin

On Thursday morning, I spent time with Lien in the Conservation Lab. I helped dry clean one of John Franklin’s books, and repaired old documents. I really enjoyed this area of work. In the afternoon, I worked alongside volunteers cleaning and packaging archival documents. I enjoyed working as part of a team.

On Friday, I had a review and evaluation of the whole week. I have now finished my project.

I would like to thank all the staff at Derbyshire Records Office for making my work experience so enjoyable and for being so helpful.

Essential electrical maintenance work, 29 April – 10 May 2019


Essential electrical maintenance work will be taking place at the Record Office from 29 April to 10 May 2019.

This may result in some disruption to the retrieval of the historical documents from our stores.

If you’re planning to visit us during these dates, we strongly advise that you contact us in advance of your visit, then we can let you know whether we’ll be able to access the original records you’re wishing to view.

New acquisition: George Beeland, drapers and cloth merchants

While Derbyshire Record Office rarely buys documents, much like No. 33 buses, another find has popped up at auction and we’ve made another exception.

This time for three ledgers detailing the accounts of George Beeland’s wholesale drapers and cloth merchants business, which traded from 23 Iron Gate, Derby throughout the 1850s.

3 Vols

George Beeland originally ran this business in partnership with William Henry Wood. However, when they went their separate ways at the start of 1850, Beeland continued the business as sole owner until 1862.


Stephen Glover, in his History and Directory of the Borough of Derby, notes the partner’s started trading from Iron Gate in 1849. It even appears that George may have come from a family of drapers. Various trade directories record a William Beeland, draper trading from Iron Gate as early as 1843.

Corn Market

When Beeland and Wood established the business in 1849, there was also a George Beeland, draper and a William Beeland junior, woollen draper and tailor, both on Iron Gate. William Beeland senior, a draper, traded from 57 Friar Gate, together with perhaps his wife and daughter (Mrs. & Miss Beeland) who ran a millinery and dress rooms from the same address.

If you’d like to these account books, just come and visit us and ask for D8172.