How to Find Free Public Domain Materials

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Public domain materials are those rare works that are not copyrighted and thus not restricted in use in any way. These public domain works can be incorporated into other publications such as wikiHow or Wikipedia. Here is a few sources one might find a public domain resource.


  1. Understand the basic sources that public domain materials exist. Some typical sources include old published materials, US Government publications, and materials explicitly donated to the public domain.
  2. Look materials published in the USA before 1923. Some good examples of public domain books that could be turned into how-to articles:
  3. Research books that were published between 1923 and Jan 1, 1964. 90% of books during this period are not copyrighted, since their copyright holders failed to extend their copyright. Review the copyright renewal database for details.
  4. Obtain US Government published documents that are usually public domain unless marked otherwise. Some good examples which contain some how-to related info:
  5. Look through some of the more popular websites containing public domain resources. Note that not all material on these sites are public domain:

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. You can edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on wikiHow. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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