The University of Michigan (UM) Library is currently researching whether digitized works it has stored in the HathiTrust digital repository are orphans—works that are in-copyright but for which rights holders cannot be found. (Several other university libraries, including those of the University of California, Duke, Emory, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins, joined the orphan works project recently.)
UM has posted an online list of the works it believes to be orphans so far. After 90 days, if no rights holders come forward, those works will be made fully accessible online to UM students and faculty. Many of the works on the list are obscure—a 1949 typographer’s desk manual, anyone?—but a few are quite familiar. Case in point: a 1933 English translation of French author Jean de Brunhoff’s The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant (1931).