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Anarchopedia:public domain resources

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There are many resources available on the net that are in the public domain, and therefore freely usable without restrictions for Anarchopedia content.

This page is intended as a list of only true public domain text resources. For other lists of resources, see below.


  • Because there is no concept of public domain in Japan's copyright law, even though the materials are claimed public domain, there can be some restrictions such as about commercial use, which has a conflict with GFDL.
  • Unlike the United States many other countries' central-government-generated content is not in the public domain. Most English speaking commonwealth countries exert Crown copyright. Indian government sites also seem to be copyrighted by default [1]. Please make certain that in any particular jurisdiction government agencies will allow you to copy materials without permission.

Research resources.

Please don't data dump![edit]

The resources below are valuable, but many are very old, context-dependent, written from biased points of view, and otherwise are not in themselves good encyclopedia articles. They contain some useful information, but also sometimes an antiquated writing style and innumerable errors of fact.

So please, if you copy material from these sources, make sure you take some time to verify the accuracy of the information: edit, update, introduce, or otherwise produce a good article out of it rather than just dumping it here verbatim. But if you can't do that, put it in anyway because somebody else will come by and tweak it. Anarchopedia articles are living texts, because everybody has the power to edit them. An entry that starts out incorrect, as a stub or even as something very insane, will eventually be tweaked and evolve into something much more sophisticated.

Please include an appropriate template for the reference in article[edit]

Please use a template for the reference in an article that you create (or modify), if it exists. For example, if you include {{CIA WFB 2000}}, it expands into:

This article incorporates information from CIA World Factbook, it is therefore in public domain, but can introduce bias to the article.

This allows us to easily locate articles that use a particular public domain source, by using the "What links here" feature on the template page: Template:CIA WFB 2000, e.g. Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:CIA WFB 2000.

Encyclopedic or general resources[edit]

US Government[edit]

Title 17 USC §105, Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works, provides that "Copyright protection is not available for any work of the United States Government," defined in Title 17 USC §101, as "a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person's official duties." Therefore, only those works solely authored by US Federal Government employees are not protected by copyright in the United States. Works produced by contractors and grantees for the federal government are generally protected by copyright. In such cases, the Government is granted a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free license in the work to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, and to allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. The Government’s license does not place these works in the public domain. Additionally, a copyrighted work for which the copyright has been transferred to the Government by assignment or bequest is not in the public domain. Look for copyright and permissions notices on U.S. Federal Government publications and websites. However be cautioned that government agencies often advise that in the absence of a copyright notice, users may assume their information is not copyrighted. This contradicts the copyright law as amended in 1989, when the United States joined the Berne Convention for the purpose of harmonizing domestic copyright law with international copyright standards. While use of a copyright notice and registration was once required as a condition of copyright protection in the United States, it is now optional, and a work is not in the public domain simply because it does not have a copyright notice. For further discussion, see: DON’T KEEP THE PUBLIC GUESSING: BEST PRACTICES IN NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT AND TERMS & CONDITIONS OF USE FOR GOVERNMENT WEB SITE CONTENT (2004) by the CENDI Copyright & Intellectual Property Working Group.

Canadian Government[edit]

  • While the Canadian government claims Crown copyright there are images archives at the National Library of Canada that are in the public domain. They include:



This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently entered the public domain, contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations. This online version contains the unedited contents of the original encyclopedia. Since the original work was completed almost 100 years ago, it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, etc.). However, it does contain an incredible amount of information that is remarkably relevant today.
We are considering inviting the Internet community to help us update the encyclopedia -- if you are interested in volunteering (as a writer, editor, etc.) please join our Mailing List. By putting this important work on the Internet, we hope to improve the quality of Jewish information available online -- and stimulate new discussion. Therefore, we have "Discussion Forums" and "Internet Links" sections which allow our visitors to converse and identify related websites.
  • is a major repository of information: "the public's library and digital archive". All collections on ibiblio are assumed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted. Check for copyright notices on any material you wish to use.
  • A Pronouncing dictionary of Biography and Mythology contains a large number (10000+) short NPOV biographical entries, many of which could be copied and pasted to form stubs (due to its focus it contains information on many 19th and 18th century figures not yet covered in Anarchopedia).

Philosophy, mathematics and natural science[edit]

Astronomy and astrophysics[edit]



Note: PIHKAL and TIHKAL, formerly listed here, are not in the public domain, and should therefore not be listed here.

Some parts may be non-public domain -- can anyone check this in detail with the webmasters, please?
According to, specific NLM Web sites containing protected information provide additional notification of conditions associated with its use. It's in PD by default.


Geology and Earth science[edit]




  • Physics for Free has two public domain physics books by former Yale professor Frank Firk: one about basic physics, one about groups and particles


Social sciences[edit]




Note: the images on bioguide may or may not be PD. Their copyright notice is at [2].


Geography and maps[edit]


Ancient History[edit]

History of science and technology[edit]

Language and Linguistics[edit]

Political science[edit]


  • Classics in the History of Psychology is a collection of classic public domain works in psychology collected by Christopher D. Green: see here for a note about the copyright status of the individual documents in the collection

Applied arts and sciences[edit]



Business and industry[edit]

  • (US Federal Govt.) US Energy Information Agency - statistics and info on energy industry (mostly US but some stuff for the world) - they appreciate but do not require acknowledgement (copyright info here)


  • (US Federal Govt.) Federal Standard 1037C, a telecommunications glossary, appears to be mostly in the public domain based on these principles, and is a source of a large number of bits of useful material. A few items are derived from copyrighted sources: where this is the case, there is an attribution to the source. Note: most non-trivial 1037C articles are now incorporated into Anarchopedia -- please also note that only those articles that have substantial content and are from 100% public domain sources are suitable for inclusion in the Anarchopedia
  • (US Federal Govt.) DISA site about commercial telecommunications standards From the site: "This site is maintained by the Commercial Standards Division of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide information about the current status of commercial telecommunications standards."

Computer science[edit]


  • ERIC Digests This site has several thousand education articles. They were all produced by the US Government ERIC Clearinghouse system. All of them are also in the public domain and can be used freely for content at Anarchopedia.



From the World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE), which is a service provided by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES - ).


Informational pamphlets, engineering manuals, engineering design guides, engineering standards, ...



  • (US Federal Govt.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "In general all information presented in these pages and all items available for download are for public use. However, you may encounter some pages that require a login password and id. If this is the case you may assume that information presented and items available for download therein are for your authorized access only and not for redistribution by you unless you are otherwise informed."
  • (US Federal Govt.) Medline at the NIH copyright terms here indicating materials are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated
  • (US Federal Govt.) NIH public domain publications on urology
  • (US Federal Govt.) NIMH Patient education materials (Public Domain)
  • (US Federal Govt.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "Unless otherwise noted, the contents of the FDA Website ( text and graphics--are not copyrighted. They are in the public domain and may be republished, reprinted and otherwise used freely by anyone without the need to obtain permission from FDA. Credit to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the source is appreciated but not required."
  • (US Federal Govt.) Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms 4th Edition: a Department of Health and Human Services project collaboratively sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Resources and

Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Public affairs[edit]

  • (US Federal Govt.) Federal Emergency Management Agency: Not sure how much of this is useful, but anyway it's under the same terms as the U.S. Department of State site: all in the public domain unless it carries an explicit copyright notice.
  • (US Federal Govt.) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: copyright notice here, typical U.S. gov't terms. Does have some good information for people patient enough to find it.
  • (US Federal Govt.) Voice Of America - All text, audio and video material produced exclusively by the Voice of America is public domain. However, some images and graphics are licensed for use and covered by all applicable copyright laws.
  • (California State Govt.) California Department Of Corrections is in the public domain unless otherwise noted. It has information and photos of California prisons such as Pleasant Valley State Prison.


Wikipedia:Porting Vectorsite articles


Arts and Entertainment[edit]













  • Writings by Greg Goebel: Science, technology, military history, introductions to classical and relativistic physics.
  • Infoanarchy: a weblog dedicated to copyright issues. All original material is in the public domain, although some redistributed articles may be under copyright.
  • "Ethical treatment for all youth" a website that documents therapy and detention of children and juveniles for consensual sexual activity. Author wrote to me in a personal email: "Certainly, I intend everything at my site to be in the public domain, to be used freely by anyone else. Of course, I would appreciate it if people who use it would link to my site, since I can use all the exposure I can get."
  • PD Times News & Resources: A Public domain resource site to provide people with a valuable source for public domain news and information and where to find public domain works. PD Times also presents information on business and advertising techniques using public domain material to its visitors. The core of PD Times rests solidly within the concept of providing a free and valuable cultural and historical information source for today's businesses and researchers.

To be filed[edit]

please file these resources under the appropriate topic headings above

  • There are no more entries to be filed at the moment

Sources for finding public domain resources[edit]

Here are some web searches which may prove useful in the discovery of U.S. Federal Government and other public domain documents. Please note that you must still manually verify that documents are in the public domain. Please note also that not all sites in the .gov domain are U.S. federal government sites: some may be U.S. state or other local government sites.

Google searches for links or exact phrases:

The Creative Commons initiative may become a valuable new resource for Anarchopedia authors. The project provides a "wizard" for licensing information under various open content licenses (including the public domain, which is not a license), and also features a directory of these works. (See also Creative Commons License)

Further reading[edit]

Lists of general resources[edit]

Lists of U.S. Government resources[edit]

Wikipedia resourses[edit]




This article is taken from wikipedia:Wikipedia:Public domain resources.