The Public Domain Review

This is just an automatic copy of Public Domain Review blog.

Resurrection on Repeat: Rules and Orders of the Humane Society (1787)

Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 07:44

The pamphlet documents thirteen years of success since the 1774 establishment of Britain’s Humane Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead by Drowning.


Beastly Clues: T. S. Eliot, Torquemada, and the Modernist Crossword

Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 11:06

Just a few years after The Waste Land appeared — a poem whose difficulty critics compared to some “pompous cross-word puzzle” — Edward Powys Mathers (alias: Torquemada) pioneered the cryptic: a puzzle form that, like modernist poetry, unwove language and rewove it anew. Roddy Howland Jackson reveals the pleasures and imaginative creatures lurking in Torquemada's lively grids.


Reciting Pictures: Buddhist Texts for the Illiterate

Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 11:05

Some Japanese texts use a rebus-style script for teaching the illiterate to recite the Heart Sūtra, and other sacred texts, in Chinese.


Between Frogs and Gods: Illustrations of Physiognomy

Thursday 6 January 2022 at 11:11

Images of a frog metamorphing into Apollo illustrating Johann Kaspar Lavater's theories of physiognomy.


Gustave Zander and the 19th-Century Gym

Tuesday 4 January 2022 at 07:34

Modern fitness culture finds its origins in 19th-century Stockholm, where Dr. Zander invented precursors to today's gym equipment.


Happy Public Domain Day 2022!

Saturday 1 January 2022 at 13:26

Each January 1st is Public Domain Day, where a new crop of works have their copyrights expire and become free to enjoy, share, and reuse for any purpose.


Top 10 Most Read Pieces from 2021

Monday 27 December 2021 at 22:11

From Alice's Wonderland to Japanese fireworks, a rundown of the ten most read pieces we published this year.


Little Switzerlands: Alpine Kitsch in England

Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 13:05

Far from the treacherous peaks and ravines of Switzerland, Alpine cottages arose, unexpectedly, amid the hillocks and modest streams of 19th-century England. Seán Williams recovers the peculiar fad for “Little Switzerlands”, where the Romantic sublime meets countryside kitsch.


Snowball Fights in Art (1400–1946)

Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 12:46

What’s wondrous about browsing the images of snowball fights gathered here is how little changes across centuries and continents.


All Sound Recordings Prior to 1923 Will Enter the US Public Domain in 2022

Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 14:37

Thanks to the Music Modernization Act passed by US Congress in 2018, all sound recordings prior to 1923 will have their copyrights expire in the US on January 1st.