Answered By: Ana Enriquez
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2019     Views: 20

Many items in the collection of the Penn State University Libraries are in the public domain (i.e., they are not subject to copyright protection). For our digital collections, we indicate what we know about an item's copyright status via a rights statement. There are two standard rights statements you may see on items in our collection that we believe to be in the public domain:

There are likely many other items in our collection (both digital and physical) that are in the public domain in at least some countries. To research an item's United States public domain status, we recommend Cornell's chart, Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, and the Is it in the Public Domain? handbook from Berkeley.

We welcome you to use public domain items from our collection. When an item is in the public domain, the Penn State Libraries cannot grant you permission under copyright law because we do not hold the copyright (nor does anyone else). When you use an image of a public domain work from our collection, we request that you cite the Pennsylvania State University Libraries as the source of the image. For an official public statement of our policy on public domain items within our collections, please see the Libraries Copyright Statement.