All UConn Library locations will reopen with the start of in-person classes on Monday, January 31.
For the remainder of this week, we will continue to offer pick up of requested materials and book returns only (helpful how-to’s).
When we reopen, we will be fully enforcing masking rules in all of our spaces. If you do not have a mask and have been asked more than once, you will be asked to leave. So please, please, wear your masks for everyone’s safety. We want to stay open as much as you want us to!
On January 1, 2022, copyright expired for all works published in the United States in 1926. These works entered the public domain. Anyone is now free to share, use, and build on them in the US without permission or payment. Public Domain Day celebrates this trove of books, serials, music, and art that become public property on January 1.
Each January 1st, a new year’s worth of publications will enter the public domain. In 2023, copyright will expire for works published in 1927, and so on. Non-US works may enter the public domain later; this varies by creation date and country of origin.
Some 1926 works were already in the public domain before January 1. This is because the copyright was not registered or renewed in time, under US laws of the era. Works published after January 1, 1964 had their copyright automatically renewed by statute. However, to protect works published between 1923 and 1964, creators had to include a copyright statement at the time of publication and renew copyright after 28 years.
Unfortunately, searching for the status of these works can be tricky. While copyright records from 1978 to today can be searched online, registrations and renewals for all works prior to 1978 can only be searched onsite in the US Copyright Office’s copyright card catalog. To help the public navigate the status of books published between 1923 and 1963, Stanford University Libraries developed a database of copyright renewals – but note that this only includes renewals for books, and not other copyrighted material like art, sound recordings, film, and so on.
Some Notable Books Entering the Public Domain
In 1926, Ernest Hemingway published The Sun Also Rises, fictional detective Hercule Poirot solved one of his trickiest mysteries in Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Winnie-the-Pooh entered the imagination of millions of children.
A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
William Faulkner, Soldiers’ Pay
T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Willa Cather, My Mortal Enemy
Franz Kafka, The Castle
Yasunari Kawabata, The Dancing Girl of Izu
Carl Sandburg, The Prairie Years
Other Works Entering the Public Domain
Allpre-1923 sound recordings
Many black-and-white films (including Faust, pictured, directed by F. W. Murnau)
Poems by Vita Sackville-West, Dorothy Parker, Langston Hughes, and others
Lyrics and music to “The Birth of the Blues,” “Are You Lonesome To-night?” and other songs by George and Ira Gershwin and other Tin Pan Alley composers
Connecticut-Themed Works Entering the Public Domain
HathiTrust has created a digital collection with 54,863 resources—books, journal issues, research reports, and other items—that entered the public domain on New Year’s Day. Here are Connecticut-themed 1926 works that HathiTrust now makes free for all.
With the move online for the start semester, UConn Library locations will be closed as study and gathering space starting this Thursday, January 6th through Sunday, January 30th. We will still provide some onsite services in addition to our online services as noted below. For the most updated information, please see our COVID update page.
We will be providing access to physical materials from our collection through our request service. Requested items can be picked up at Homer Babbidge Library any time Monday – Thursday between 10am and 2pm. Other library locations are available by appointment only.