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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Re-Mixing Public Domain Materials: Home

This guide helps users to locate public domain materials to remix them to create something new.

The Basics

Why now?

January 1, 2019, all work published in the United States in 1923 entered the public domain. This was the first time work has entered the public domain in twenty years due to copyright extensions.

What is the public domain?

The public domain includes any work for which copyright has expired or work that has been specifically donated into the public domain by the author/creator. Note that the types of work that could have been copyrighted include: musical scores, musical recordings, writings, movies, artwork, sculptures, graphical works, maps, computer software, architectural plans, etc.

Why the public domain?

Public domain works are special because you can remix them, sell them or do anything you like with them without first asking for permission from the author/creator (or the current copyright owner). This may inspire creativity, such as remixing!

Everything is a Remix Remastered

Creativity is a Remix

Where can I find work that has entered the public domain?

Where can I find work that has entered the public domain?

Because any work published in the US before 1924 is part of the public domain, these works can be found in many places, including your library. There are some places you might wish to go to search for PD works, however. 

Good starting places include:

Other places to look:

Scholarly Communication and Publishing