Innovative Learning

Public Domain Materials

Many works are considered to be in the public domain. In this case either the copyright for these works has expired or the author has decided not to copyright the work. This allows them to be used and distributed freely. As a basic rule of thumb, works copyrighted before 1923 are safely in the public domain. The following is a listing of public domain resources on the interhet. However, you should always check to make sure material on a "public domain" site is really public domain.

New Resources (to be categorized):

Public Domain Materials from the Canadian Government

While the Canadian government claims Crown copyright there are images archives at the National Library of Canada that are in the public domain. They include:


Public Domain Dictionaries

Public Domain Astronomy and Astrophysics Materials

* (US Federal Govt.) Space Educators' Handbook
* (US Federal Govt.) NASA glossary of terms - appears to be in the PD, please check
* (US Federal Govt.) NASA DICTIONARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS FOR AEROSPACE USE (originally NASA report SP-7, written in 1965, some pages updated since then: may not be fully up-to-date)

Public Domain Biology Materials

* (US Federal Govt.) US Forest Service Fire Effects Database Database of current information on a wide variety of tree, shrub, grass, mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species found largely in North America -- great reference material
* (US Federal Govt.) National Center for Biotechnology Information , unless otherwise specified (for example the text of most of the books in the book section of the site is '''not''' in the public domain unless it is published by [[NIH or the [[NCBI ) the material on this site is in the public domain (the NCBI asks you to cite NCBI as the source if you use it, see copyright and disclaimer information ), of particular relevance for wikipedia (as a source for text and images) are
** ''A Science Primer'' . Background material on [[cell biology , [[bioinformatics and more. (''Please use the following msg on the relevant Talk or image description page if you use material from this work: [[Template:NCBI-scienceprimer ''.)
** ''The NCBI Handbook'' . More background on [[genomics and [[bioinformatics relevant to the NCBI itself. (''Please use the following msg on the relevant Talk or image description page if you use material from this work: [[Template:NCBI-handbook ''.)


Public Domain Chemistry Materials

* [[ChemIDplus at appears to be a public domain database of about 200,000 chemicals -- needs checking, though.
:''Some parts may be non-public domain -- can anyone check this in detail with the webmasters, please?''
::According to, specific NLM Web sites containing protected information provide additional notification of conditions associated with its use. It's in PD by default.
* [[NIST Chemistry WebBook at
* [[NIST Atomic Spectra Database at
* Periodic Tables of the Elements in Over One Hundred Languages with a lot of minorized languages.

Public Domain Geology and Earth Science Materials

* (US Federal Govt.) USGS Mineral Resources Program - "The Mineral Resources Program provides and communicates current, impartial information on the occurrence, quality, quantity, and availability of mineral resources."
* (US Federal Govt.) NASA Earth Observatory Glossary
* (US Federal Govt.) Geodesy for the Layman

* Public domain databases of interests to scientists

* World Monthly Surface Station Climatology, 1738-cont almost 200 MB of weather data from over 4700 stations starting in [[1738 .


=== Physics & Math ===
* Physics for Free has two public domain physics books by former Yale professor Frank Firk: one about basic physics, one about groups and particles

* Biographies of mathematicians - from a 1908 history of mathematics. See the discussion at [[Rouse History of Mathematics

* 10 British Mathematicans in PDF / 10 British Mathematicans in TeX Ten British Mathematicans of the Nineteenth Century, by Alexander Macfarlane, published 1916. (Alexander Macfarlane died in 1913.)

=== Biography ===
* (U.S. Federal Government) Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774 to present (<nowiki>{{bioguide}}</nowiki>)
:Note: the images on bioguide may or may not be PD. Their copyright notice is at .

=== Geography and maps===
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Census Bureau Has an enormous range of facts and figures which are useful when fleshing out articles about cities and states
* (US Federal Govt.) Summary Demographic Data by Country from the US Census Bureau

* (US Federal Govt.) CIA World Factbook Contains basic facts on all the countries of the world
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. State Dept.: Background notes on the countries of the world . Also see their copyright notice , which, as you'll see, places material ''that is not explicitly copyrighted'' in the public domain
* (US Federal Govt.) - Library of Congress area country studies. It explicitly states that it is not copyrighted
* (US Federal Govt.) CIA World DataBank II - global outline map data (coastlines, rivers, national boundaries) in vector format, hosted by Dave Pape at the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (but note that this dates back to 1972, so many national boundaries are out of date)
* (US Federal Govt.) ETOPO2 - a whole-planet [[digital elevation model dataset with sample points a 2 arc minute intervals
* (US Federal Govt.) GTOPO30 - a whole-planet [[digital elevation model dataset with sample points at 30 arc second intervals - the data files can be found at
* (US Federal Govt.) Blue Marble , a set of high-resolution cylindrical-projection raster images of the Earth derived from satellite data
* (US Federal Govt.) the [[NIMA [[GEOnet Names Server contains approximately 3.88 million named geographical features outside the United States, with 5.34 million names
* (US Federal Govt.) the [[USGS [[Geographic Names Information System claims to have almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features within the United States
* Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas (check Usage statement and verify public domain status)
* DEMIS World Map Server generates maps using public domain data with no usage restrictions


Public Domain History Materials

* British History Historical Public Domain Documents
* (US Federal Govt.) United States National Archives and Records Administration , the U.S. federal government's official archive site
* Historical Maps of the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas (public domain usage statement - "Courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin")
* (US Federal Govt.) Biographical Directory of the United States Congress - biographical information on everyone who ever served in Congress, including a good number of presidents. Articles that use info from this source should use '''<nowiki>{{bioguide}}</nowiki>''' at the bottom, for a simple citation.
* : présente certains scans de documents anciens, pouvant servir de source historique. Il n'y a qu'à copier (tout retaper à la main)
* Internet History Sourcebooks
**/home*.html Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities 1875 edition; completely public domain, except for the occasional note by the Web transcriber, identified as "Thayer's Note(s)".
* Alexandrian Book of Shadows (this link can no longer be found at this URL; many online copies exist, of varying reliability)

Language and Linguistics

* ''A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism, and Philology'' (José Ángel García Landa, University of Zaragoza, Spain. Includes several hundred bibliographical lists on linguistics).
* ''Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech'' by Edward Sapir is a classic introduction to Linguistics. Originally published in 1921.

=== Political science ===
* (US Federal Govt.) Library of Congress Country Studies An online version of the [[Library of Congress Country Studies with information on 101 countries, including detailed histories.

=== Psychology ===
* ''Classics in the History of Psychology'' is a collection of classic public domain works in psychology collected by Christopher D. Green: see here for a note about the copyright status of the individual documents in the collection


=== Business and industry ===
* (US Federal Govt.) US Energy Information Agency - statistics and info on energy industry (mostly US but some stuff for the world) - they appreciate but do not require acknowledgement (copyright info here )

=== Communication ===
* (US Federal Govt.) [[Federal Standard 1037C , a [[telecommunications [[glossary , appears to be mostly in the public domain based on these principles, and is a source of a large number of bits of useful material. A few items are derived from copyrighted sources: where this is the case, there is an attribution to the source. ''Note: most non-trivial 1037C articles are now incorporated into Wikipedia -- please also note that only those articles that have substantial content and are from 100% public domain sources are suitable for inclusion in the Wikipedia''
* (US Federal Govt.) DISA site about commercial telecommunications standards From the site: "This site is maintained by the Commercial Standards Division of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide information about the current status of commercial telecommunications standards."

=== Computer science ===
* (US Federal Govt.) NIST Dictionary of Algorithms, Data Structures, and Problems : Huge, high-quality resource. All entries are in the public domain except for a few that carry an explicit copyright notice
* Public domain lecture notes : "Introduction to Computer Science", "Data Structures" and "Analysis of Algorithms"
* The Jargon File Eric S. Raymond's definitive work on geek-speak

=== Education ===
* ERIC Digests This site has several thousand education articles. They were all produced by the US Government ERIC Clearinghouse system. All of them are also in the public domain and can be used freely for content at Wikipedia.

* New York State Education Departments website "Unless specifically stated otherwise, all information on the New York State Education Department's (NYSED's) website at is in the public domain,..."

=== Employment===
* (US Federal Govt.) Occupational Outlook Handbook Contains descriptions of a great many occupations such as [[Therapy/Physical|Physical Therapist

* Library of public domain images of operational Solar Power projects
:From the World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE), which is a service provided by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES - ).

=== Engineering ===
* Publications of the Headquarters, United States Army Corps of Engineers
: Informational pamphlets, engineering manuals, engineering design guides, engineering standards, ...
* MIT Open CourseWare (creative commons licence)
* US Bureau of Reclemation publications , manuals on small dam design, water flow measurement, turbine calculations, etc...

=== Law ===
* Bouvier's Law Dictionary (1856)

=== Medicine ===
* (US Federal Govt.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "In general all information presented in these pages and all items available for download are for public use. However, you may encounter some pages that require a login password and id. If this is the case you may assume that information presented and items available for download therein are for your authorized access only and not for redistribution by you unless you are otherwise informed."
* (US Federal Govt.) Medline at the NIH copyright terms here indicating materials are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated
* (US Federal Govt.) NIH public domain publications on urology
* (US Federal Govt.) NIMH Patient education materials (Public Domain)
* (US Federal Govt.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "Unless otherwise noted, the contents of the FDA Website ( text and graphics--are not copyrighted. They are in the public domain and may be republished, reprinted and otherwise used freely by anyone without the need to obtain permission from FDA. Credit to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the source is appreciated but not required."
* (US Federal Govt.) Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms 4th Edition : a Department of Health and Human Services project collaboratively sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Resources and
Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* (US Federal Govt.) USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory Contains nutritional information on a large number of comestibles. From FAQ: "USDA food composition data is in the public domain and there is no copyright. We would appreciate it if you would list us as the source of the data and when possible we would like to see the product which uses the data or be notified of its use."
* (US Federal Govt.) A large collection of public domain information sheets on various neurological disorders
** ''Note:'' This Google search for "nih publication "not copyrighted"" should help uncover more NIH public domain documents
* Gray's Anatomy - 1918 edition of Gray's ''Anatomy of the Human Body'' (with illustrations).
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. National Toxicology Program : copyright notice here , typical U.S. govt terms
* Asthma genetics - Public domain data
* (US Federal Govt.) Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (needs positive confirmation before use: some diagrams within the text say "used by permission", which implies that they are copyrighted -- however, the rest appears to be written by U.S. govt. employees)
* (US Federal Govt.) The NCI thesaurus is a massive public domain repository of definitions of medical terms
* (US Federal Govt.) The Genetics Home Reference is a wide resource on human genetics

=== Military ===
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Department of Defense - All of these files are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated. However, it is requested to credit the photographer/videographer as indicated or simply "Department of Defense."
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Navy , Info on specific ships
* (US Federal Govt.) Air Force Link
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Marine Corps
* (US Army Space & Missile Defense Command) , launch site information, space launch company information, environmentl and technical information on launch sites.

=== Public affairs ===
* (US Federal Govt.) Federal Emergency Management Agency : Not sure how much of this is useful, but anyway it's under the same terms as the U.S. Department of State site: all in the public domain ''unless it carries an explicit copyright notice.''
* (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency : copyright notice here , typical U.S. gov't terms. Does have some good information for people patient enough to find it.
* (US Federal Govt.) Voice Of America - All text, audio and video material produced exclusively by the Voice of America is public domain. However, some images and graphics are licensed for use and covered by all applicable copyright laws.
*(California State Govt.) California Department Of Corrections is in the public domain unless otherwise noted. It has information and photos of California prisons such as [[Pleasant Valley State Prison .


== Culture ==
* UNESCO Public Domain Resources and Virtual Library

=== Arts and Entertainment ===

=== Classics ===
* [harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) can be found via


=== Libraries ===
* Authorama Public Domain Books : Texts delivered on XHTML1.0 Strict pages
* Online Book Initiative
* The Online Books Page : A comprehensive index of books available on the Internet. Most are public domain, but not all; check for copyright restrictions

=== Literature ===
* ''A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism, and Philology'' (José Ángel García Landa, University of Zaragoza, Spain)
* OVO New works in the public domain since 1987. Magazine format ([[Portable Document Format|PDF and [[ formats).
* Brewer's Reader's Handbook , published in 1898, states that "the object of this Handbook is to supply readers and speakers with a lucid but very brief account of such names as are used in allusions and references, whether by poets or prose writers". Contains many short articles, some on obscure topics

Public Domain Music

* Internet Archive: Open Source Audio
* Free Classical Music Archive Free recordings performed by the MIT choir and other amateurs (quite high quality)
* The Choral Public Domain Library describes itself as 'A Free Sheet Music Archive'
* Mutopia : a collection of public domain sheet music
* Project Gutenberg music section
* MusicBrainz : a database of structured metadata about audio releases

Public Domain Religious Resources

* Biblical dictionaries : Some late nineteenth century Biblical dictionaries; these might need work to render [[neutral point of view|unbiased and up-to-date.
** A number of articles already contain most of the useful text from [[Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)
** Hitchcock's Bible Dictionary's list of Biblical names has been used as a source for the [[List of Biblical names
** [[Smith's Bible Dictionary is another 19th century Bible dictionary, with much useful but dated text
* Public Domain Biblical references
* Christian Classics Ethereal Library : A project similar to Project Gutenberg, but focusing on Christian texts
* Bibles for the World : A Bible study resource with many translations and versions of the Bible
* The Tertullian Project : A collection of material ancient and modern about the ancient Christian Latin writer Tertullian and his writings
* World English Bible : A modern English, public-domain Bible, still being edited
* American Standard Version of the Holy Bible (1901)
* King James Version of the Holy Bible with Apocrypha
* 28 versions/languages of the Bible and growing
* public domain bibles and dictionaries
* The Jewish Encyclopedia


== Miscellaneous ==
* Writings by Greg Goebel : Science, technology, military history, introductions to classical and relativistic physics.
* Infoanarchy : a [[weblog dedicated to copyright issues. All original material is in the public domain, although some redistributed articles may be under copyright.
* "Ethical treatment for all youth" a website that documents therapy and detention of children and juveniles for consensual sexual activity. Author wrote to [[User:Eloquence|me in a personal email: "Certainly, I intend everything at my site to be in the public domain, to be used freely by anyone else. Of course, I would appreciate it if people who use it would link to my site, since I can use all the exposure I can get."
* PD Times News & Resources : A Public domain resource site to provide people with a valuable source for public domain news and information and where to find public domain works. PD Times also presents information on business and advertising techniques using public domain material to its visitors. The core of PD Times rests solidly within the concept of providing a free and valuable cultural and historical information source for today's businesses and researchers.


==Further reading==

* '' The Public Domain: How to Find & Use Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art & More '' by Stephen Fishman, ISBN 0873374339

==Lists of general resources==
* Registry for material that is in the public domain "except as noted" maintained by the Open Leader network
* Unmaintained list of public domain resources by Kevin Savetz
* Banis Associates list of public domain resources
* Public Domain Music website
* Download Games
* Brian Waters' list of public domain resources
* New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors tracking old books and author's dates for determining copyright expiration

===Lists of U.S. Government resources===
* Index of Federal Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions
* Federal Information Processing Standards home page
* DOD Index of Specifications and Standards
* Department of Defense Single Stock Point for MilSpecs and Standards
* NIST Data Resources index
* Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
* Country Study - copyright free
* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service