The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online.
All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classic works of art, music and literature, to abandoned drafts, tentative plans, and overlooked fragments. In doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction.
We believe the public domain is an invaluable and indispensable good, which – like our natural environment and our physical heritage – deserves to be explicitly recognised, protected and appreciated.
The Public Domain Review aims to help its readers to explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance of an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.
Our articles from leading scholars, writers, archivists, and artists provide fresh reflections and new angles on old material – from strange encounters with monkey eating poets to an Italian cardinal who could speak over 70 languages.
With our curated collections of films, audio, images and texts we surface some of the highlights and hidden gems from a variety of resources across the web – from visions of the future from late 19th century France to Napoleon’s Book of Fate.
Every fortnight we send out an email newsletter of all the most interesting content that we’ve recently featured. Visit here to subscribe and get a sneak-preview of what to expect.
If you like what we do then do please consider donating. We are a not-for-profit endeavour and survive entirely on reader’s donations to stay afloat. We need your support to keep the project alive: visit our support page to make a donation!
You can also help us by putting up a poster, or encouraging your friends to join our newsletter.
To help raise some much needed funds we have made some things to sell, returning a few select gems from their pixel-based existence back into the world of real objects from whence they once came – Prints, T-shirts, Mugs and More. Visit the main store page to begin shopping!
Through our articles and collections we aim to help promote the outstanding work that numerous projects, organisations and volunteers have been undertaking to digitise and openly publish public domain works on the web. We have also created a guide to finding interesting public domain works to encourage more of our readers to explore these resources for themselves.
The Public Domain Review is working alongside Open GLAM, an initiative run by the Open Knowledge Foundation that promotes free and open access to digital cultural heritage held by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums.
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