National Library releases out-of-copyright works
Every year, on 1 January, creative works come out of copyright and into the public domain.
“Public domain means works are no longer in copyright. That means anyone can use them freely, without needing copyright permission from the original maker. They may be copied, published, adapted, or incorporated into new works, which is exciting”, said Jessica Coates, Senior Adviser, Rights Management.
New National Library collection items in the public domain this year include unpublished works by authors who died in 1952, orphan works (i.e. works with no known author) created in 1952, and government publications created in 1972.
Items coming into the public domain on 1 January 2023 include:
- The personal papers of journalist and media proprietor Sir Keith Murdoch (1885 – 1952). This includes a letter Sir Keith wrote to British Prime Minister Henry Asquith in 1915 introducing his now iconic ‘Gallipoli letter’, initially written to then Australian Prime Minister Andrew Fisher.
The 1915 ‘Gallipoli letter’ provided an important update on the Gallipoli campaign. Due to its significance, it is now included on the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.
- The personal papers of William (Billy) Hughes (1865 – 1952), 7th Prime Minister of Australia, including correspondence relating to Hughes’ attendance at the Paris Peace Conference held from January to July 1919. The Hughes Papers form one of the largest collections of personal papers held in the Library.
- Two letters that George Pearce (1870-1952), an Australian politician, wrote in his role as the Minister for Defence ahead of journalist Keith Murdoch’s appointed visit to Egypt and Gallipoli in 1915. See his letter to the General Officer Commanding in Chief (Sir John Maxwell) in Egypt and his letter to Sir Ian Hamilton, both sent in July 1915. Pearce and Prime Minister Andrew Fisher commissioned journalist Keith Murdoch to provide an account on behalf of the Australian Government of the Gallipoli campaign.
- A series of Holeproof Hosiery advertisements for stockings for three different occasions. Each poster features a well-known Australian model. An additional poster of artwork features Santa.
- Nine booklets from memorial services to commemorate the passing of the late King George VI. Held throughout Australia in February 1952, the locations for the memorial services included Canberra, Hobart, Newcastle, Naracoorte, and Adelaide.
More information about copyright in library collections is available. This includes advice on what to do if additional permissions are required before using items from the Library’s collections.