Books Entering US Public Domain 2023

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Portrait of Sherlock Holmes by Sidney Paget

January 1, 2023 is Public Domain Day when certain works of literature, film, and music from 1927 become available to everybody. Copyright terms vary from country to country but Jennifer Jenkins, Director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, has put together her annual selected highlights of what will be entering the US public domain as the new year begins:

  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
  • Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • Countee Cullen, Copper Sun
  • A. A. Milne, Now We Are Six, illustrations by E. H. Shepard
  • Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women (collection of short stories)
  • William Faulkner, Mosquitoes
  • Agatha Christie, The Big Four
  • Edith Wharton, Twilight Sleep
  • Herbert Asbury, The Gangs of New York (the original 1927 publication)
  • Franklin W. Dixon (pseudonym), The Tower Treasure (the first Hardy Boys book)
  • Hermann Hesse, Der Steppenwolf (in the original German)
  • Franz Kafka, Amerika (in the original German)
  • Marcel Proust, Le Temps retrouvé (the final installment of In Search of Lost Time, in the original French)

“These are just a handful of the thousands of books entering the public domain in 2023,” she says. “There is a lot to celebrate: a modernist masterpiece, poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, children’s verses featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and other characters, and early works from Hemingway and Faulkner. Copyright will also expire over Arthur Conan Doyle’s final Sherlock Holmes stories.”