Quotations and Dialogue

Q. I’m writing a book about Civil War recipients of the Medal of Honor, about forty of whom had their narratives reproduced in two postwar books published before 1910. These narratives have also appeared in books that were published more recently and remain under copyright. Can I use the numerous accounts (quoted in the men’s own words) from the earlier editions without obtaining the reprint publisher’s permission?

A. As long as you use only those portions of the text that were published in the older editions—both of which would now be long out of copyright—you won’t need permission to reproduce the content (though you should cite the original sources in a footnote or elsewhere). See also CMOS 4.22.