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Call for Member Participation in U.S. Public Domain Day 2019

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, does the heart find its morning and is refreshed.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, released into the U.S. public domain on January 1, 2019.

With the U.S. annual copyright term expiration set to begin again on January 1, 2019, after a 20-year suspension, the open record of human knowledge will increase to include items such as The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. HathiTrust will open more than 40,000 items in the collection originally published in 1923. All of these will be viewable in the U.S. and some globally.

With thousands of contributions from member libraries, HathiTrust is uniquely positioned to increase public access to the 1923 items available in its digital repository and to preserve these items for access long into the future. To enable the widest possible lawful research and educational uses of the HathiTrust collection, HathiTrust is providing download access to the metadata about the items in the HathiTrust Collection: 1923 Publications both before Public Domain Day (January 1, 2019) and after.

Find out how your collection matches up

If your library would like to compare the list of titles in HathiTrust to your collection and digitize 1923 works that we lack, you may download the 1923 Publications Collection metadata and compare it to your holdings. Documentation on how to download metadata from a collection in Collection Builder is located on the HathiTrust website. The collection is updated at the beginning of each month, and will continue to be updated for a few months into the new year. After that we will switch our focus to the 1924 works that will roll into the public domain in 2020 so libraries can contribute digitized works for the next round of items.

Contribute 1923 Publications to HathiTrust

If your library plans to digitize 1923 items and would like to have them in HathiTrust, please let us know by contacting feedback@issues.hathitrust.org.  To ensure eligible items are opened by bibliographic determination, the metadata must include the appropriate values for date and place of publication in the appropriate fields. Items with unclear or missing metadata may not be opened. You can find a detailed description of the automated bib determination process and the needed information at https://www.hathitrust.org/bib_rights_determination. We welcome new digitization at any time.

Promote Full-PDF Downloads of 1923 Items

This is a momentous occasion of works entering the public domain in the U.S., an event that many young people have not experienced in the past 20 years. As you feature works coming into the public domain that you have in your library collection, also promote those available via HathiTrust. As a benefit of HathiTrust membership, individuals affiliated with member institutions can download complete PDF files of public domain works, including those in the 1923 collection when it becomes available.

To enable this benefit when using the HathiTrust Digital Library, individuals must log in to HathiTrust using their institutional credentials. Non-member affiliated individuals are able to view and to download only single pages of most public domain items.

On Twitter, use the hashtag #publicdomainday to highlight 1923 publications that are now available and tag HathiTrust by typing @hathitrust in your tweets to highlight content in our collective collection.

HathiTrust’s Ongoing Commitment to Lawful Access

HathiTrust’s Copyright Review Program continually assesses items deposited into our collection to determine their copyright status based on U.S. and international copyright law. The Copyright Review Program, which depends largely on in-kind staff time from our member libraries, embodies our commitment to making as many items as possible available in the public domain, not just on Public Domain Day, but continually.

Contact feedback@issues.hathitrust.org for questions or suggestions about the 1923 Publications collection.

For a list of all the titles, please see HathiTrust Collection: 1923 Publications.

See additional resources about the 1923 collection and details for promotion.

Author(s):  Kristina Eden
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