Celebrating the public domain

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

Christopher Robin

Illustration to page 3 of Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) by artist E. H. Shepard.

New life for established works

January 1st not only marked the beginning of a new year, it also marked the moment that thousands of creative works published in 1926 entered the public domain. Anyone can now reuse these works of literature, music, and imagery, adapting them into new creations of their own. Teachers can use creative works in the public domain in their classes, and students can use them as part of their assignments, all without worry about getting permission first. 

Among the works entering the public domain this year are pieces by Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Faulkner, Agatha Christie and A.A. Milne, author of the much beloved book, Winnie-the-Pooh.


Going public with the Libraries

The University Libraries celebrated public domain with a series of activities and workshops in 2022. Scroll down for more information about our weeklong celebration, Wolf Pack performances of public domain works, and links to public domain materials.

Portrait of the 1899 University of Nevada, women's basketball team.

Wiki Edit-a-Thon

The Libraries hosted a free Wiki Edit-a-Thon event on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Participants learned how to add public domain and other images to Wikimedia Commons before getting a chance to try it themselves with images from the Special Collections and University Archives.

Stereographic viewer

Look how far we’ve come

The @Reality Virtual Reality Studio hosted a unique exhibit of historical stereoscopic photos from the late 19th and early 20th century. @One Multimedia Production Specialist, Shawn Sariti, digitized and converted these images into 180-degree VR videos.


Exploring and performing public domain works

The works featured here have all been protected by copyright at one time but are now in the public domain. That means anyone can use them. Students can perform songs published in 1926 or earlier and publish a video of their performance on social media or use an image as part of marketing for an event. All creative works in the public domain can be reused and remixed without having to obtain prior permission. The University Libraries invited university faculty and students to perform or read from famous 1926 works, including Soldiers' Pay by William Faulkner and Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.

Video Credits

  • Discussion of musical theater during the 1920s by Assistant Professor Yasmine Jahanmir.
  • Excerpt from William Faulkner’s Soldiers’ Pay, read by Assistant Professor Pardis Dabashi.
  • George Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me, sung by A.J. Hunsaker, Jasmine Johnson, and Emily Koszuth; accompanied by Jerry Ray. The students are part of Prof. Katherine Parker’s Vocal Technique Class.
  • Discussion of The General and Cinder Ella by Associate Professor Katherine Fusco.
  • Poems from Langston Hughes’ The Weary Blues read by Manuela Williams, MFA Poetry Candidate.
  • Librarian Rosalind Bucy reading from Winnie the Pooh.


Public Domain Resources

Fortunately for us, more museums and other groups are sharing public domain works online, making it easy for anyone to find them. 

An illustration of a striped cat beating a drum from a book of hours

Creative Commons

Allows you to search a number of sites, including various museums, for items in the public domain or with a Creative Commons license.

A black and white image of a woman in a hat next to a french bulldog

Library of Congress

Collections that it believes are in the public domain.

A person wearing a plague mask and a hat in a pink dress

The Public Domain Review

An online journal dedicated to discussion of items in the public domain.

Sheet music by Emily Josephine Troup which includes a score for voice and piano

International Music Score Library Project

Great for finding music scores in the public domain.

Sheet music by Emily Josephine Troup which includes a score for voice and piano

International Music Score Library Project

Great for finding music scores in the public domain.

Illustration of three horseback riders racing on a red background

Learn More

Learn more about copyright or contact your subject librarian with copyright-related questions.