Public Domain Day 2022, the end of copyright for 1926 works

Another New Year, another Public Domain Day! January 1, 2022 marks the end of copyright for works first published in the U.S. in 1926. For many years, only works published in the U.S. through 1922 were in the public domain because of retroactive copyright term extensions. Most works published between 1923 and 1977 currently have copyright protection for 95 years, so it wasn’t until the first day of 2019 that 1923 works could finally enter the public domain, and each new year brings more treasures.

Here are a few of the notable 1926 works that entered the public domain today:

  • A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Ernest Hemingway’s novels The Sun Also Rises and The Torrents of Spring
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story collection All the Sad Young Men
  • Langston Hughes’ first book of poetry, The Weary Blues
  • Dorothy Parker’s first book of poetry, Enough Rope
  • William Faulkner’s first novel, Soldiers’ Pay
  • T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Edna Ferber’s Show Boat
  • Hart Crane’s first book of poetry, White Buildings
  • Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • S.S. Van Dine’s The Benson Murder Case, the first Philo Vance mystery novel
  • Felix Salten’s Bambi
  • Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years
  • Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Land of Mist
  • Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Shakespeare’s The Tempest

The full texts of the 1926 books that have been scanned by the Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, Google Books, and other digital archives should soon be publicly available on their websites.

Visit the Public Domain Day 2022 website from Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain to explore some of the books, music, and films that are now free to use, reprint, quote, remix, and adapt without permission or payment. Of special note, all pre-1923 sound recordings will finally enter the public domain today as well. The site is a great source of information on copyright and the public domain— don’t miss the legal updates and Jennifer Jenkins’ analysis of the complicated tangle of competing rights when a book like Winnie-the-Pooh enters the public domain but companies like Disney have their own copyrights and trademarks based on the work.

Enjoy these photographs of some of the 1926 first editions now in the public domain, courtesy of Bauman Rare Books:

Comments are closed.