Author and Book Info .com

The Companion to Online and Offline Literature

Information on about 180 000 authors and 550 000 of their books,
including how to buy copies and where to find 38 000 of them online for free

Public Domain Day 2018 - 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 year' rule, which includes the European Union, it is authors who died in 1947, over 1000 of whom are listed, with many of their books, here, and include: English poet Herbert ASQUITH, British prime minister Stanley BALDWIN, English novelist Marie BELLOC LOWNDES, English novelist Angela BRAZIL, American novelist Willa CATHER, American novelist Winston CHURCHILL, English novelist Richard LE GALLIENNE, English composer Victor HELY-HUTCHINSON, creator of Doctor Dolittle Hugh LOFTING, Welsh writer Arthur MACHEN, creator of The Scarlet Pimpernel Baroness ORCZY, American writer Lloyd OSBOURNE, German physicist Max PLANCK, English bucolic novelist Flora THOMPSON, English scientist Alfred North WHITEHEAD.

For those countries with a 'life + 50 year' rule, which includes Japan, Canada & New Zealand, it is authors who died in 1967, over 900 of whom are listed, with many of their books, here, and include: British prime minister Clement ATTLEE, American science-fiction writer Hugo GERNSBACK, American folk-singer Woody GUTHRIE, French writer André MAUROIS, American writer Langston HUGHES, English writer Norman ANGELL, Spanish writer AZORÍN, English poet laureate John MASEFIELD, Australian writer D'Arcy NILAND, English playwright Joe ORTON, English children's writer Arthur RANSOME, American playwright Elmer RICE, American poet Carl SANDBURG, English WW1 poet Siegfried SASSOON, and American bohemian cook-book writer Alice B TOKLAS.

For the United States and Australia, there will be no new entrants this year, as they are transitioning between copyright schemes.

Search database by author name and/or keywords in book title(s):

Select the authors to search All authors  Male authors only  Female authors only
Author's given names/initials 
Author's family or only name 
Keywords in the book title(s) 
Search for online books only
  

Search author database by year of birth or death:

Event Births   Deaths   Deaths & unknowns*
Authors All   Males only   Females only
Year   A D
  

* ‘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:

Event Births   Deaths
Authors All   Males only   Females only
Date      
  

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 1923 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 180 000 authors out of at least 500 000 deceased authors, and over 500 000 (38 000 of them online) out of at least 2 500 000 books published before 1964.  Of these authors, about 32 000 (18%) are female.

Credits: Thanks for their assistance to John Herrington, John Holmstrom, Allen J Hubin 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.

Home page

About this website

Condition of its use

Abbreviations used

How to buy or
borrow old books


How to sell or
value old books


E-mail webmaster