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Theater Research at the Library of Congress

Copyright Registrations

The U.S. Copyright Office is located in the Library of Congress, and historically, copyright registrations have provided a rich source of acquisitions for the Library's collections. Play scripts in particular may be found by searching copyright registration records.

Many play scripts submitted for copyright registration have been classified and stored in the Library's onsite collections in the Music Division, Main Reading Room, and Manuscript Division collections. Many other scripts have been organized by copyright registration number and are housed off-site.

Search Copyright Registrations

Find and request scripts stored offsite by using the item’s copyright registration number. Scripts submitted for copyright registration that are housed off-site may be in the Music Division's or Manuscript Division's collections. In addition to the resources listed below, consult the finding aid to the Manuscript Division's collection of some Copyright Office drama deposits. The Manuscript Division also maintains a separate print finding aid onsite that lists script copyright deposits available on microfilm.

There are several ways to search for copyright registration records for scripts and other dramatic works. Use the Copyright Office database for works submitted after 1978.

Find records for items registered for copyright before 1978 through several methods:

Request an item for retrieval with the following information:

  • Title of item
  • Copyright registration number
  • Year submitted for copyright
  • Author / creator / claimant name