The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual artefacts in the history of art, literature and ideas – all of which have fallen into the public domain and so are free for everyone to enjoy, reuse and share. Started in 2011, the site has created a large and ever growing archive of the beautiful and bizarre. Highlights from their collections include a ghostly series of decayed daguerrotypes, a dictionary of Victorian slang, a set of 19th century French postcards of the year 2000, and a 1930s Michigan farmer playing the tune of Yankee Doodle with “hand-farts”.
In addition to showcasing their picks from the world’s digital archives, The Public Domain Review provides a platform for leading writers, scholars and curators to write about the things they love. A whole host of weird and wonderful topics are covered, including an Italian cardinal who could speak over 70 languages, Gerard Manley Hopkins’s soaring meteorology of volcano sunsets, Thomas Browne’s list of imaginary artefacts, and, in an article from Man Booker prize winner Julian Barnes, a tale of strange encounters with monkey-eating poets.
It’s a great project, and it needs your support to continue. With their initial funding now coming to an end, The Public Domain Review is turning to its community of readers to help it continue to tell the world about the importance of the public domain. If you’d like to see the project continue, then they need your donations. If you make a donation of $40 or more you’ll get a rather wonderful looking Tote Bag. Learn more about the campaign and donate on their support page. Again, click here to give The Public Domain Review your support!