You may know January 1 as New Year’s Day, but it is also the day that new works shed their copyright constraints and become available for free reuse. Works from 1924 become public domain in 2020, including Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young, and the first film adaptation of Peter Pan. The public domain allows works to be broadly read, performed, remixed, and adapted as part of our shared cultural heritage.
To contribute to the celebration of the public domain, the MIT Libraries is digitizing 10 books from 1924 from the Libraries’ collections. This year we selected works that show a glimpse of what it was like to be a woman in academia in the early 1900s. Read about early women scholars at MIT in class reunion books from the 1890s, and see what women were publishing in 1924.
The 10 new works will join the MIT Libraries Public Domain Collection later this month, where they will be freely available to read in their entirety. Look out for news posts throughout January highlighting these interesting works. You can also join us in celebrating the public domain at two upcoming events:
- Join us for lunch and learn more about the public domain at the Is it in the Public Domain? IAP session on January 7.
- Learn how to enhance Wikipedia using public domain materials at our Wikipedia Public Domain Day Edit-a-thon on January 15.
Happy Public Domain Day, everyone!
This post was written for Public Domain Day 2020 by Katie Zimmerman, Director of Copyright Strategy for the MIT Libraries.