Author and Book Info .com

The Companion to Online and Offline Literature

Information on more than 170 000 authors and 500 000 of their books,
including how to buy copies and where to find 35 000 of them online for free

Public Domain Day 2017 - January 1

On the first day of each year, the copyright of a new batch of authors expires, and their works first published in their lifetime enter the Public Domain.  A full breakdown by country is listed here, but broadly it is:

For those countries with a 'life + 70 year' rule, which includes the European Union, it is authors who died in 1946, over 950 of whom are listed, with about 10 000 of their books, here, and include: Russian chess player Alexander ALEKHINE, American entertainer W C FIELDS, American children's writer Wanda GÁG, English translator from Russian Constance GARNETT, German dramatist Gerhart HAUPTMANN, English astronomer Sir James JEANS, English economist John Maynard KEYNES, prolific English novelist E Phillips OPPENHEIM, English crime novelist Paul TRENT, Australian novelist Henry Handel RICHARDSON, American writer Damon RUNYON, Anglo-American writer Logan Pearsall SMITH, author of The Elements Of Style William STRUNK, Jr, naturalist writer Ernest Thompson SETON and English novelist H G WELLS.

For those countries with a 'life + 50 year' rule, which includes Japan, Canada & New Zealand, it is authors who died in 1966, over 850 of whom are listed, with about 10 000 of their books, here, and include: English novelist Margery ALLINGHAM, German-French artist Jean/Hans ARP, Nigerian politician Sir Ahmadu BELLO, American comedian Lenny BRUCE, American writer Richard FARIÑA, British novelist C S FORESTER, American boxer Abe 'the Newsboy' HOLLANDERSKY, Soviet defector Victor Andreevich KRAVCHENKO, Belgian astronomer Abbé LEMAÎTRE, American novelist Kathleen NORRIS, Irish humour writer Flann O'BRIEN, American automobile executive Alfred P SLOAN, Jr, English writer Henry TREECE, English translator from Chinese Arthur D WALEY, and English novelist Evelyn WAUGH.

For the United States and Australia, there will be no new entrants this year, as they are transitioning between copyright schemes.

Search database by author name and/or keywords in book title(s):

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Search author database by year of birth or death:

Event Births   Deaths   Deaths & unknowns*
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Year   A D

* ‘unknowns’: those still living or with unknown date of death,
who were born 100 years before the year entered
or were first active 80 years before the year entered.

Search author database by date of birth or death:

Event Births   Deaths
Authors All   Males only   Females only

Important information

The condition of use of this website is that you do not rely on any of the information in it without checking it to your satisfaction.  The information is provided in good faith, but sometimes errors exist in the sources, or are introduced in transcriptions or understanding, eg: some of the ‘book’ titles may actually be pamphlets or learned journal articles; the dates for plays are often those for the first performance, which may be significantly different from the formal publication date; and for many other books there can be a small uncertainty in the publication year.

For some authors, an attempt has been made to indicate by the use of parentheses which of their full set of names were used as a byline, but different forms occur in different places, the sources don't always make clear what was used, and it's too time-consuming to check all of them.  So don't place much importance on this parenthesising.

About this website

The aim of this site is to catalog all deceased authors, all authors of books published before 1964, and at least some more recent authors, including their full name(s), date & place of death, date & place of birth, pseudonyms, gender & nationality (not nationality for those who died before 1920), and their books published before 1964.

The purpose of this site is:

  1. by cataloging the dates of death of authors, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “life + x years” rule applies.  Where the date of death is unavailable, the date of birth or date of their first publication can be used to set an upper limit to the duration of copyright.
  2. by cataloging the dates of publication of books, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “publication + x years” rule applies.  In the US, for works published in 1923 thru 1963 the copyright status also depends on whether the initial copyright was renewed – see the Catalog of Copyright Entries (Renewals) webpage for guidance on this.
  3. to identify those books already available on the Internet, to help online readers and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort by “electronic republishers”.
Note that therefore only some of the authors and books listed here will be out of copyright, some will still be in copyright.

Status: The catalog currently contains over 170 000 authors out of at least 500 000 deceased authors, and over 500 000 (35 000 of them online) out of at least 2 500 000 books published before 1964.  Of these authors, about 30 000 (18%) are female.

Credits: Thanks for their assistance to John Herrington, John Holmstrom, Allen J Hubin and countless others who have provided information on themselves, their relations and other authors of interest to them.

Abbreviations, etc

  • Women's maiden (nee) and sequence of married (1:Mrs, etc) names are identified thus, where known.
  • ‘c__’ means ‘circa __’ or about.

Dates: The date of first publication in book form is usually given; for works first published in a periodical, that date is also included, in parentheses ( ); multiple dates separated by slashes (/) indicate revised editions; a dash (-) indicates that publication was spread over that period.

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