This is the "Public Domain" page of the "Affordable Learning Solutions/Open Educational Resources" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

This guide promotes and helps discover open, affordable, low or no-cost textbooks, course material, and educational resources.
Last Updated: Jun 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Public Domain Print Page

What is Public Domain

Public Domain refers to materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it." Stim (2000). Most works of the Federal government are automatically in the Public Domain.

Stim, R. (2000) Getting Permission: How to License and Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off.




Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review, founded in 2011, is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain in all its richness and variety.

Public Domain Review


Where to find Public Domain Content

For Federal Government public domain materials you can search in the departments and agencies websites. 

The website has an image/photo search tool that searches many agencies at once. 

Yahoo's advanced search page allows you to limits you results to .gov materials:

Google's advanced search can be limited by "usage rights." Results can be limited to government materials by entering .gov  in the domain box. 

The National Science Digital Library is a rich site for math, science, and engineering. 

Library of Congress
is rich in materials for those in the humanities.



Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

Project Gutenberg


Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Loading Loading...
blank padding

Public Domain Tools (from Creative Commons)

Creative Commons public domain tools enable authors and copyright owners who want to dedicate their works to the worldwide public domain to do so, and facilitate the labeling and discovery of works that are already free of known copyright restrictions.

California State University, Sacramento | University Library | 2000 State University Drive East | Sacramento, CA 95819 | Phone: 916-278-5679


Loading  Loading...