Here's a beautiful gallery of vintage Hallowe'en postcards from the New York Public Library Picture Collection on Flickr.
(via How to Be a Retronaut)
Creative works published before 1923 are legally part of the public domain. Beyond that, the federal government can't copyright anything, except in very specific circumstances.
So why is the Smithsonian Institution claiming copyright on a collection of 19th-century seed catalog images?
What Would Luther Burbank Do? is a project aimed at convincing the Smithsonian to change its policy and make American cultural history available to Americans, a move that would put its policies in line with those of the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Government Printing Office.
Public.Resource.Org is going to file a complaint about this and is collecting statements from any member of the public who'd like join. If you have some thoughts about why you think the Smithsonian should let these images be part of the public domain—or if you'd just like to have your name added to the formal complaint—please send a postcard to:
What Would Luther Burbank Do?
1005 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA 95472
More than 100 people digitize books in Internet Archive scanning centers in 27 libraries in 6 countries. At 10 cents a page, we are bringing over 1,000 new books online every day.
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Archive.org is visited by more than 1 million different users every day. Books are downloaded or read on archive.org about 10 million times each month, and approximately 2,000 books for the blind and dyslexic (print disabled) are downloaded every day.
Other projects use the texts archive in bulk. Researches at the University of Massachusetts have used millions of archive.org books to do digital scholarship. OpenLibrary.org integrates these books with many thousands of recent books for the print disabled and library borrowers. All of the public domain books are full text searchable, indexed by multuiple search engines, and downloadable individually or in bulk.
Please help us build the library of free books by scanning and uploading, by donating physical books to the Internet Archive, or by sponsoring the digitization of great collections!