The Public Domain Review

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Life and Death Contrasted (ca.1770)

Wednesday 7 May 2014 at 18:07

A striking image from the British engraver and publisher Valentine Green, illustr…


Cuttings from a Medieval Italian Choirbook

Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 17:12

THE BRITISH LIBRARY - James Freeman explores cuttings from a huge 14th century Italian choirbook and how digital technology is now helping scholars build a picture of the once intact original through virtually reuniting the "diaspora" of fragments.


John L. Sullivan Fights America

Wednesday 30 April 2014 at 18:04

In 1883, the Irish-American heavy-weight boxing champion John L. Sullivan embarked on an unprecedented coast-to-coast tour of the United States offering a prize to any man who could endure four rounds with him in the ring. Christopher Klein tells of this remarkable journey and how the railroads and the rise of the popular press proved instrumental in forging Sullivan into America's first sports superstar.


Reader Survey

Thursday 24 April 2014 at 17:58

Hello dear Reader. We’ve made this survey to discover a little more about the…


Tractatus de Herbis (ca.1440)

Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 17:22

Selections from a beautifully illustrated 15th century version of the “Tra…


Shtetl, My Destroyed Home: A Remembrance (1922)

Thursday 17 April 2014 at 16:30

Selection from a set of 30 lithographs by the Russian painter Issachar Ber Ryback, dating mostly from 1917 and published in a book in 1922, depicting scenes of Ryback's home village in Ukraine before it was destroyed in the pogroms following World War I.


1592: Coining Columbus

Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 15:24

For many the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas is inextricably linked to a particular image: a small group of confident men on a tropical beach formally announcing their presence to the dumbfounded Amerindians. Michiel van Groesen explores the origins of this eurocentric iconography and ascribes it's persistence to the editorial strategy of the publisher who invented the initial design a full century after Columbus' encounter took place.


Arthur Coga’s Blood Transfusion (1667)

Tuesday 15 April 2014 at 17:54

An account of the first ever blood transfusion involving a human in England. Six months after he successfully completed a blood transfusion between two dogs, the experimental physician Richard Lower administered 9oz of sheep's blood into the body of Arthur Coga, a Divinity Student from Cambridge.


Mister Fox (1870)

Thursday 10 April 2014 at 16:07

A short piece of juvenile literature about the hungry Mister Fox and his attempts to acquire dinner for his family - an endeavour which proves successful despite the attempts of the farmer and his wife to intervene - all illustrated in a series of delightful silhouettes.


Mary and Gretel (1917)

Wednesday 9 April 2014 at 18:01

A fairy brings two dolls to life, part of a short lived stop-motion puppet series by animator Howard S. Moss, described as Alice in Wonderland meets the Garden of Eden, a surreal fable of a drunk rabbit, bowling dwarfs, and the two bewildered girls of the title.