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Freely Available Databases and Search Tools: Historical and other public domain material

Here you will find information about available open scholarly resources

What is the public domain?

The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply, whether having been created before copyright law existed or by having their copyright term expire.

There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:

  • the copyright has expired
  • the copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules
  • the copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain, known as “dedication,” or
  • copyright law does not protect this type of work.

Public Domain Resources