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Web Gems: The Public Domain Review

Looking for a public domain-dwelling image to integrate into your teaching? This blog recently highlighted Unsplash, which consists mostly of images taken recently and assigned, by the photographer, to the public domain. If you’re looking for older (and perhaps funkier,) check out the Public Domain Review. 

Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas.

In particular, as our name sugggests, the focus is on works which have now fallen into the public domain, that vast commons of out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restriction. Our aim is to promote and celebrate the public domain in all its abundance and variety, and help our readers explore its rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance to an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.

Here’s an example of an invention that had no mother:


This is a black and white advertisement from a magazine from the early 20th century. It depicts a man in a bathtub, pulling a device that is dumping water over his neck and chest.


The site also contains a book published in 1909 called “400 ways to make a sandwich.” Perhaps foodie-ism is not just a 21st century idea. 


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