…the one about getting the “Charles ‘The Immigrant’ Roane” Book re-published

A staggering number of Roanes, black and white, have been in touch through this blog as well as Facebook and Twitter. One of the Top 2 questions that I’m asked is about that Charles “The Immigrant” Roane book and where it can be purchased (the other question, just in case you’re wondering, is how I’m related to the Roane family). The book in question is Charles Roane the Immigrant and his Wife Frances Roane: The first of the name in Virginia settled in Gloucester County, Virginia in 1664 published in 1982 by Jefferson Sinclair Selden, Jr.  It was a self-published book with only a limited number of editions printed. And it is definitely out of print.

I’m only aware of two places online where second-hand copies are available: Amazon and Google Books. With an asking price of $399 for one and $200 for the other, it’s an understatement to say these 2 books are expensive. Beautifully bound I’m assured, but expensive nonetheless.

Mr Selden passed away some years ago. And as with all self-published books, there doesn’t appear to be a traditional publisher one can go to with an enquiry about additional copies. Since the book was published in 1982, it will have copyright protection. What’s the issue with copyright? It means the book’s copyright is protected under law and it can’t be reproduced without a production licence, which is oftentimes quite expensive.

So I’ve written to the US Library of Congress to enquire about the current copyright holder’s details (name, address, etc). I’ve also enquired about what happens when a book’s copyright holder can’t be found. I’ve explained that there is a great deal of interest in this book from Charles Roane’s descendants. Ideally, I’d love it if this book were available in an e-publication format – meaning it would be available to download. And of course set at a reasonable price! If you’d like this too, then please do send an email to the Library on Congress via the contact form on its website (there’s a drop down menu. If you click this you’ see an option for “General Copyright Questions”): http://www.copyright.gov/help/general-form.html

If you are inclined to write to the Library of Congress, I’m suggesting some points to put in your email:

  • The name of the book
  • The Library of Congress Catalogue Number, which is: CS71.R6279 1983
  • That you’re a descendant of Charles and Frances Roane
  • The book is out of print
  • As a descendant, you would like to own a copy of this book which covers your family history
  • You’d like the contact details for the current copyright holder
  • Lobby for this book being published in an e-Book format

Better still, wouldn’t it be amazing to have our own Roane Family Publishing company to ensure the continued publication of this book? That way, future generations would have easy and guaranteed access. Just a thought!

Let’s work together to bring this book back into public circulation.

In the meantime, there is a copy of the book at The Library of Congress. And I believe it’s available through the US inter-library loan service (although I doubt you’d be able to actually take it home with you from your local library). The Library of Congress Catalogue Reference Number is: CS71.R6279 1983

3 thoughts on “…the one about getting the “Charles ‘The Immigrant’ Roane” Book re-published

  1. Hi All,
    I made a paternal genealogy for my dad for Christmas. He is so excited, he never knew anything about his family.
    This is all wonderful information,
    Nancy Roane Celmins

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