Makar’s work cannot be digitilised
Attempts to digitilise the works of a Rutherglen poet have had to be put on hold due to copyright issues.
Edwin Morgan was Scotland’s first Makar having grown up in the Royal Burgh and attending Rutherglen Academy.
During his lifetime, Morgan wanted his scrapbooks, correspondence and handwritten drafts of poems to be publicly available.
Since his death at the age of 90 in 2010, the Edwin Morgan estate and the University of Glasgow - where he was a student and lecturer in the Department of English literature - have also tried to make his unpublished works accessible to the rest of the world.
But issues over ‘orphan’ work has instead led to a web resource explaining many of the obstacles created by copyright law.
Orphan works are still protected by copyright law but the owner or owners cannot be identified or located. Morgan’s scrapbooks included dozens of examples from resources such as newspapers and scrapbooks.
The web resource has been created by Kerry Patterson, project officer for the “Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks” project at the University of Glasgow, with principal investigator Professor Ronan Deazley from Queen’s University Belfast and Victoria Stobo, a PhD student at the University of Glasgow.
Ms Patterson said: “With respect to the 16 scrapbooks created by Edwin Morgan, we estimate that it would take one researcher over eight years to undertake the diligent search activity alone, at a cost of more than £185,000.
“They will remain accessible only within the physical confines of the university library building for the foreseeable future, apart from a selection of the pages that we digitised for this project.”
Legacy Edwin Morgan with former first minister Jack McConnell