G.W.H.Lampe’s “Patristic Lexicon” – could we get it electronically?

As we get XML versions of Liddell and Scott, etc, we inevitably start to wonder about other standard reference tools, such as Lampe.  A PDF of the raw page images doesn’t really do it, although that is better than carrying a book around.

Of course those as rich and privileged as myself have no problem here.  We just buy a dozen printed copies and place one in each of our homes, plus one in the back of the Rolls. Also, we can get our butler to carry it for us.  But this still leaves rather a lot of other people with a problem.  And… if we had it in electronic form, it would be possible to do interesting things with it.

I found this blog post from somewhere unpronounceable which asked the same question.  And I ask: how do we go about getting an XML version of a copyright text?  One that we can all use in our computer programs?

The book was published in 1961, comprises 1600+ pages, and is published by Oxford University Press who presumably own it.

Could Perseus negotiate some deal?  Could Logos?  How would one do this?



10 thoughts on “G.W.H.Lampe’s “Patristic Lexicon” – could we get it electronically?

  1. Hey Roger,

    So maybe I am totally misunderstanding copyright law, but it is my understanding (http://library.dts.edu/Pages/RM/Helps/copyright.shtml) that every book copyrighted between 1923 and 1963 has to renew the copyright to stay out of the public domain. I checked the Library of Congress catalog, and didn’t find a renewal claim. Am I missing something here, or is the 1961 edition in the public domain?

  2. It might be, in the US, if it was published there according to the title page. I’m no expert tho.

    The thing to do is to upload a PDF to archive.org and see what their experts make of it!

  3. I think Tim is right. The PGL 1961 edition was published by OUP in many cities incl. New York, i.e. in the US. According to the copyright renewal database there was no renewal for this book. So in the US the book has been in the public domain since 1990.

  4. The dictionary is already in archive.org for two years now, do you know if they check to see if the work is in public domain?

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