The Online Books Page


This page specifies the copyrights, licenses, and public domain dedications of The Online Books Page. The statements here are subject to the scope details at the bottom of the page. This site is edited by John Mark Ockerbloom, who began the site in 1993. Versions of this site from 2010 through the present, except for metadata described below, are copyright by John Mark Ockerbloom. Contact the editor for permissions and questions on material not covered by the public domain declarations below.

Extended Shelves Catalog Entries

Catalog data describing entries on our "extended shelves" has been provided by HathiTrust, Project Gutenberg, the University of Florida Baldwin Library, and the Directory of Open Access Journals. We have modified some of their data with automated scripts for better compatibility with this catalog. Reuse of their data may be subject to their respective licensing terms. (As of January 2019, Gutenberg's catalog is distributed under the GNU General Public License, DOAJ's data is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and I am not aware of restrictions being placed on HathiTrust's bibliographic metadata. Follow the links above to those projects for more details.)

Curated Collection Catalog Entries and Serial Copyright Information Pages in the Public Domain

Catalog data describing entries in our "curated collection" has been compiled by the editor, John Mark Ockerbloom, and his associates, drawing in part on factual information provided by others. Any copyright claims to this data are released to the public domain under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. The catalog pages in our curated collection have a note about the public domain/CC0 status of their data. (See, for instance, the note at the bottom of this book listing.)

Copyright data given in our various serial copyright information pages is also CC0. The relevant pages have a note to that effect at the bottom. (See, for instance, the note at the bottom of this serial's copyright information page.)

For more information on obtaining our curated collection and copyright metadata, see this page.

Old Versions of the site in the Public Domain

The copyrights for versions of this site from 1993 through 2009 (except for material imported from elsewhere, such as "extended shelves" information, for which I do not control the rights) are dedicated to the public domain, as of January 1, 2024. This is a complete, and irrevocable, dedication of those copyrights.

This dedication is in honor of the founders of the United States government, who originally specified a copyright term of 14 years, optionally renewable for another 14. As I am an advocate of shorter terms of copyright than exist today, I am happy to use those original terms for this site (and forgo the "renewal term" in this case). I intend to keep dedicating an additional year's worth of copyrights of versions of this site to the public domain at the start of every new year.

Pre-2010 versions of the site at its Carnegie Mellon and Penn locations can be found at the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

Scope details

The statements here, with the exceptions noted below, apply to the pages and files of The Online Books Page (as located at,, and that are marked as edited or copyrighted by John Ockerbloom or John Mark Ockerbloom, and that have a link (or whose current versions have a link) to this page labeled "OBP copyrights and licenses".

They do not apply to the books linked to from this site, which are on other sites not under our control. The online books we list may be copyrighted or in the public domain, and may have their own licenses and terms of use. If you have any questions about the status and permitted uses of any book we list, ask the maintainers of the site that hosts the book, or consult the book's own copyright statements or holders.

They also do not apply to book cover images that appear on some exhibit pages. While some of the covers shown are in the public domain, others may be copyrighted by their artists or publishers. They are included here, at substantially smaller size and lower resolution than the original covers, for identification or commentary purposes as fair use, and we cannot license them to others or change their copyright status.

Also, the statements above do not apply to A Celebration of Women Writers, which is edited and copyrighted separately by Mary Mark Ockerbloom.

Licenses and public domain dedications above apply only to the copyrights to this site. They do not apply to the names, service marks, or other rights of attribution that are not included in copyright. Which is basically a long-winded way of saying that, while you're free to copy and modify this site as permitted by the statements above, you're not free to call a modified version of The Online Books Page "The Online Books Page", or use the site's logos, unless it's clear that you've altered it from its original form and content (and are otherwise abiding by the licenses above). Or, even more concisely, don't make it look like we're responsible for content we're not actually responsible for, or have endorsed things that we have not endorsed.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy using and reusing the site!

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OBP copyrights and licenses