Public Domain Review

Public Domain Review


Online journal and cabinet of curiosities dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful and unusual out-of-copyright works available on the web.

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Portrait of an actor by Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900), one of the most famous and successful Japanese woodblock print artists of the Edo period who specialised in portraying actors and actresses from the Kabuki scene. More over at @rawpixelimages :

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Raven dives into a whale’s mouth and builds a fire; he travels to a town of ghosts, who rob him blind; he teaches a perpetual loser to be the Greatest Gambler in the World... Read the myths of the Tlingit people of southeastern Alaska:

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Polish composer and virtuoso pianist #Chopin  died #onthisday  in 1849 aged just 39. He was buried to the tune of his very own “Funeral March”... one of the 1st recordings of which you can listen to here: #OTD 

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"Arabian or Egyptian Land Crocodile", woodcut from Edward Topsell's The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1658), the illustrations for which all come directly from earlier works by Konrad Gesner. More here:

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#OnThisDay in 1871, “father of the computer” Charles Babbage passed away. Upon his death, as he himself requested, his brain was donated to science. Photos and description of the "wetware" behind the "hardware" in this 1909 report: #OTD 

The great Anglo-Irish satirist and author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift died #onthisday  in 1745. Here's a classic piece of parody, his "Meditation Upon a Broomstick" (1711): #OTD 

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The Moorish Idol and the The Grey-Head Surgeonfish, as seen in one of the first series of X-rays ever produced, from 1896. See more here: And buy some of the images as prints from our shop here:

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Although not normally considered the most glamorous of Mother Nature’s offerings, #algae  has found itself at the heart of many a key moment in the last few hundred years of botanical science. @TheRoyalFig  explores...

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Maze design by Batty Langley, 1728. As featured in W. H. Matthews' vast and richly illustrated 1922 exploration into all things maze:

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#OnThisDay in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe passed away under mysterious circumstances. Of all the artists who gave life to Poe's macabre tales over the years, perhaps none captured them quite so brilliantly as the Irish artist Harry Clarke: #OTD  #EdgarAllanPoe 

Book from 1911 book showing that taking photos of cats and brandishing them with an amusing caption is far from being a phenomenon born with the internet. More here: #NationalCatDay 

How did alphabet books deal with the letter X before the rise of x-rays and xylophones? We've picked out some of the best examples:

From 1969 to 2008 John Margolies photographed the eccentric roadside architecture and ephemera of the US. @librarycongress  bought the lot, a total of 11,710 colour slides, and lifted all copyright restrictions on them. Here's our highlights:

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Comets from The Augsburg Book of Miracles, 16th century. 💫 More in our post "Flowers of the Sky", of depictions spanning almost a whole millennium of comets, meteors, meteorites and shooting stars:

The first person to discover a link between increased levels of CO2 and #globalwarming  was a woman named Eunice Newton Foote (1819–1888) from Seneca Falls, New York. Read here 1856 paper, and how she went unacknowledged for more than a century, here:

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"The Duck quaketh" — from the very first picture book for children, published in 1658:

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Happy #PublicDomainDay ! Every 1st Jan 1000s of works turn #publicdomain  due to copyright expiration. Usually this excludes the US, but this year is different. For the first time in 20+ yrs, works will enter the US public domain!!! See our highlights here:

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