Virtual Card Catalog | U.S. Copyright Office

About Virtual Card Catalog (VCC)

Virtual Card Catalog | U.S. Copyright Office

Together, the Copyright Card Catalog and the Catalog of Copyright Entries (CCE) provide an index to copyright registrations and records in the United States from 1870 to 1977. The physical Copyright Card Catalog contains approximately 41.5 million card images. A large part of the literary, musical, artistic, and scientific production of the United States and of foreign countries is recorded in these files. Because of changes in the techniques of recording copyright registrations over the years, the Copyright Office has divided these records into several chronological periods or indexes. This proof of concept Virtual Card Catalog (VCC) contains only the following registration indexes: 1971-1977 and 1955-1970.


Each card in the Copyright Card Catalog was scanned into high-resolution TIFF images for archival purposes. These TIFF images were converted into smaller, service copy images in the JPEG format to create the online images for the VCC. In addition, optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent character recognition (ICR) technology was used to convert the images of the typed and handwritten text into text datasets.  The raw datasets are then reviewed for errors and corrected to the extent practical given the large volume of datasets.


This proof of concept Virtual Card Catalog is the first step toward providing online search capabilities of the Copyright Card Catalog. The purpose of this proof of concept is to confirm the validity of a Virtual Card Catalog by assessing if additional registration indexes and features will provide value to researchers, copyright owners, and the public. The U.S. Copyright Office welcomes your input and feedback on the VCC.


This Proof of Concept is not a final version of the planned Virtual Card Catalog (VCC). The purpose is to validate the VCC’s feasibility and to verify its potential use for the public. The images are presented in a similar filing order as found in the physical card catalog and may contain filing errors and corrupt images. We are working to identify technical issues to update and improve the overall functionality. Your feedback will provide input into improving the VCC. This Proof of Concept does not replace or supersede existing search practices established by the United States Copyright Office and the results should not be relied on for legal matters. For information on searching Copyright Records, refer to the circular“How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work.”If you would like to request removal of personal information from the Virtual Card Catalog please refer to the circular “Privacy: Copyright Public Records.”