Author and Book Info .com

The Companion to Online and Offline Literature

Information on about 198 000 authors and 680 000 of their books,
including how to buy copies and where to find 40 000 of them online for free

Public Domain Day 2024 - January 1

On the first day of each year, the copyright of a new batch of authors expires, and their works first published in their lifetime enter the Public Domain.  A full breakdown by country is listed here, but broadly it is:

For those countries with a 'life + 70 years' rule, which includes the European Union and the United Kingdom, it is authors who died in 1953, about 1000 of whom are listed, with many of their books, here, and include: English composer Sir, Arnold BAX, English writer Hilaire BELLOC, American astronomer Edwin HUBBLE, English playwright Evan JOHN, American playwright Eugene O'NEILL, Soviet composer Sergei PROKOFIEV, Canadian novelist Theodore Goodridge ROBERTS, Soviet dictator Josef STALIN, English novelist Jan STRUTHER, and Welsh poet Dylan THOMAS.

For those countries with a 'life + 50 years' rule, which includes Japan, Canada & New Zealand, it is authors who died in 1973, about 1900 of whom are listed, with many of their books, here, and include: American science writer Charles Greeley ABBOT, American poet Conrad AIKEN, English poet W H AUDEN, English writer & illustrator Cicely Mary BARKER, founder of Israel David BEN-GURION, American writer Arna BONTEMPS, English writer & actor Sir Noël COWARD, prolific English novelist John CREASEY, Dutch-American astronomer Gerard P KUIPER, English socialite Nancy MITFORD, Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo NERUDA, Italian fashion designer Elsa SCHIAPARELLI, Egyptian writer TAHA HUSSEIN, English writer J R R TOLKIEN, and East German leader Walter ULBRICHT.

For the United States, the transition between copyright durations of 'publication + 75 years' and 'publication + 95 years' has now run its course, and the copyright of all works first published in 1928 will expire.  There are lists of books and periodical contributions by US authors whose copyright had been extended through 2023.  The copyright of virtually all works by non-US authors first published in 1928 had automatically been extended through 2023, and these expire too.

For Australia, there will be no new entrants this year, nor until 2026 January 1, as it is transitioning between copyright schemes (see here for details).

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* ‘unknowns’: those still living or with unknown date of death,
who were born 100 years before the year entered
or were first active 80 years before the year entered.

Search author database by date of birth or death:

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Important information

The condition of use of this website is that you do not rely on any of the information in it without checking it to your satisfaction.  The information is provided in good faith, but sometimes errors exist in the sources, or are introduced in transcriptions or understanding, eg: some of the ‘book’ titles may actually be pamphlets or learned journal articles; the dates for plays are often those for the first performance, which may be significantly different from the formal publication date; and for many other books there can be a small uncertainty in the publication year.

For some authors, an attempt has been made to indicate by the use of parentheses which of their full set of names were used as a byline, but different forms occur in different places, the sources don't always make clear what was used, and it's too time-consuming to check all of them.  So don't place much importance on this parenthesising.

About this website

The aim of this site is to catalog all deceased authors, all authors of books published before 1964, and at least some more recent authors, including their full name(s), date & place of death, date & place of birth, pseudonyms, gender & nationality (not nationality for those who died before 1920), and their books published before 1964.

The purpose of this site is:

  1. by cataloging the dates of death of authors, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “life + x years” rule applies.  Where the date of death is unavailable, the date of birth or date of their first publication can be used to set an upper limit to the duration of copyright.
  2. by cataloging the dates of publication of books, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “publication + x years” rule applies.  In the US, for works published in 1928 thru 1963 the copyright status also depends on whether the initial copyright was renewed – see the Catalog of Copyright Entries (Renewals) webpage for guidance on this.
  3. to identify those books already available on the Internet, to help online readers and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort by “electronic republishers”.
Note that therefore only some of the authors and books listed here will be out of copyright, some will still be in copyright.

Status: The catalog currently contains about 198 000 authors out of at least 500 000 deceased authors, and over 680 000 (40 000 of them online) out of at least 2 500 000 books published before 1964.  Of these authors, about 36 500 (18%) are female.

Credits: Thanks for their assistance to John Herrington, John Holmstrom, Allen J Hubin, Troy Bassett and countless others who have provided information on themselves, their relations and other authors of interest to them.

Abbreviations, etc

  • Women's maiden (nee) and sequence of married (1:Mrs, etc) names are identified thus, where known.
  • ‘c__’ means ‘circa __’ or about.

Dates: The date of first publication in book form is usually given; for works first published in a periodical, that date is also included, in parentheses ( ); multiple dates separated by slashes (/) indicate revised editions; a dash (-) indicates that publication was spread over that period.

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