Huddersfield Key Texts
One of the stated aims of Huddersfield Exposed is:
- To make available a large amount of historical materials, including facsimiles, reproductions and transcriptions of books, newspaper articles, photographs, postcards, etc, where it is believed that the material is in the Public Domain or when explicit permission has been granted by the rights holder.
In a small number of cases, a work (typically a book or booklet) has been identified as being protected by copyright but it has not been possible to make contact with a representative of the deceased author's estate. Where the work is deemed to be of significant importance to local historians, it may be made available on this site as a Key Text.
To meet the criteria, the work should fall into most (if not all) of the following categories:
- The author is deceased and died more than 30 years ago.
- Attempts to identify or contact the current rights holder have failed.
- The work was published more than 25 years ago and has not been reprinted.
- The current rights holder is unlikely to ever reprint or republish the work.
- The work is out of print and the publisher is unlikely to still have stock for sale.
- The work is difficult to obtain on the second-hand market.
- The content is sufficiently unique and has not been substantially replicated by later works.
- Making the work available is highly unlikely to deprive the current rights holder(s) of income.
In all instances, we would still like to make contact with a representative of the author's estate and we will respect any requests from them to remove copyrighted material from the web site. However, ideally we would prefer to come to an arrangement whereby the work can continue to be made available to researchers.
Ramsden Street Independent Chapel Huddersfield: Notes and Records of a Hundred Years (1925) by Arthur W. Sykes
This book was published in 1925 and, to the best of our knowledge, has never been reprinted. The author lived a long life and died in 1959, aged 91. Whilst he did marry, he did not have any children.
Although still under copyright until the end of 2029, the rights will have likely devolved to second or third generation descendants of Sykes' cousins. It seems highly unlikely those descendants would make a collective decision to republish the book.
Local historian and writer Stanley Chadwick was born out of wedlock to a mother who had also been an illegitimate child. He did not marry, nor did he have any siblings, and his only other close relative was an aunt. He sadly died in a house fire in 1988 and left no known last will & testament. There were no surviving relatives who could apply for a letter of administration over his estate.
Chadwick's estate was deemed bona vacantia and a solicitor was appointed to deal with any claims from more distant relatives, however no valid claimants came forward. Before the estate reverted to the Crown, it was entered onto the official list of unclaimed estates. A third party specialist company then seemingly tracked down a distant surviving relative and they were able to claim the estate (with the third party company likely claiming a percentage). Our attempts to identify the claimant failed and the third party company no longer exists.
As Chadwick died over 30 years ago, it is possible that the claimant (who likely does not live locally) has also died. It seems highly unlikely that the claimant (or their descendants) will ever republish Chadwick's works and so they will remain in copyright limbo until the end of 2058.
The following works are currently available as Key Texts (the year in which the work enters the Public Domain is shown in the right-hand column):
Notes and References
- Publisher's copyright, which covers layout, typography, etc, lasts for 25 years.
- See https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/unclaimed-estates-list