Author and Book Info .com

The Companion to Online and Offline Literature

Information on more than 165 000 authors and 480 000 of their books,
including how to buy copies and where to find 35 000 of them online for free

Public Domain Day 2015 - 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 1944, over 1400 of whom are listed, with over 8000 of their books, here, and include: American author George ADE, Spanish author Joaquín ÁLVAREZ QUINTERO, British author Joseph Storer CLOUSTON, American author Irvin Shrewsbury COBB, English astronomer Sir Arthur Stanley EDDINGTON, prolific American Western novelist Frederick Schiller FAUST, Canadian novelist Hulbert FOOTNER, English pilot Guy GIBSON, English writer Philip GUEDALLA, American writer Sadakichi HARTMANN, German novelist Hans HYAN, Russian artist Wassily KANDINSKY, Canadian writer Stephen Butler LEACOCK, American novelist Joseph Crosby LINCOLN, Dutch artist Piet MONDRIAN, Danish playwright Kaj MUNK, English writer Sir Arthur QUILLER-COUCH, English writer Heath ROBINSON, French writer Romain ROLLAND, English writer Owen RUTTER, English children's writer Ethel TALBOT, American writer Ida Minerva TARBELL, English archbishop William TEMPLE, Dutch-American writer Hendrik VAN LOON, English children's writer Margery Williams BIANCO, and America novelist Harold Bell WRIGHT.

For those countries with a 'life + 50 year' rule, which includes Japan, Canada & New Zealand, it is authors who died in 1964, over 1200 of whom who are listed, with over 8000 of their books, here, and include: American novelist Jane ABBOT, Anglo-Canadian newspaper magnate Lord BEAVERBROOK, English socialite Nancy ASTOR, prolific British novelist Marguerite BARCLAY, Irish playwright Brendan BEHAN, German writer Max BERGENGRUEN, South African writer Johanna BRANDT, American novelist Will COOK, German writer Ludwig FINCKH, English novelist, creator of James Bond, Ian FLEMING, German writer Hans FRANCK, English children's writer Arthur William GROOM, DDR politician Otto GROTEWOHL, American author Hermann HAGEDORN, English-Indian scientist J B S HALDANE, English actor Cedric HARDWICKE, American playwright Ben HECHT, English novelist Naomi JACOB, German author Anna KATTERFELD, American author Clarence Budington KELLAND, American novelist Grace METALIOUS, Indian politician Jawaharlal NEHRU, English writer Hesketh PEARSON, American SF writer H Beam PIPER, American chess author Fred REINFELD, German rocket pioneer Eugen SÄNGER, Finnish winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Frans Eemil SILLANPÄÄ, English writer Edith SITWELL, German author Heinz STEGUWEIT, English novelist Cecil John Charles SREET, Czech author Emil VACHEK, American writer Carl VAN VECHTEN, and English novelist T H WHITE.

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

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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.

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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 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 over 165 000 authors out of at least 500 000 deceased authors, and over 480 000 (35 000 of them online) out of at least 2 500 000 books published before 1964.  Of these authors, about 29 000 (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.

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