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Books on the Public Domain

What is Public Domain?

If a work is within the public domain, there are no copyright ownership issues associated it.

This is because the work was either never eligible for copyright protection OR, the term of copyright protection has expired. 

Therefore, anyone may reproduce, redistribute, or adapt the work and there is no longer a need to seek permission for its use.

Due to the extension of the terms of copyright by Congress, It will be 2019 before anything else enters the public domain. 

Here are a couple of handy tools to  help determine what is in public domain in the U.S. as of this year-

Sources for Public Domain Materials

There are a number of sources for materials that are in the Public Domain - sources that can be used for free and without permission - below are just a few of the places where you can find such materials:

Public Domain Music


The Commons (Photographs)


Center for the Study of the Public Domain (Duke Law School)


Hathi Trust Digital Library


The Public Domain Review




Wikipedia List of Free Image Sites


Open Culture


Getty Museum Image Gateway

Creative Commons License/Copyright Statement