Makar’s work can­not be dig­i­tilised

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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