As the team behind The Public Domain Review notes, a large number of archival materials have been digitized over the past twenty years, making it possible for people around the globe to examine and even experience the past. A number of websites have cropped up to curate and provide context to these fascinating archival collections. Among them, The Public Domain Review stands out for two reasons. First, the PDR offers a remarkable diversity of archival materials by inviting contributions from scholars of all disciplines. Secondly, materials are thoughtfully presented, which makes reading an informative and engaging treat.
Whenever any form of media is no longer protected by copyright law, it enters the public domain. The Public Domain Review is dedicated to collecting and curating this material in one place. Launched in 2011, the online journal and not-for-profit project features numerous images, complete books, audio clips, and videos. These materials range from the peculiar to the poignant, providing insight into both everyday life and extraordinary oddities. One can watch a 1916 adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (the first movie filmed underwater), view a gallery of beards, or read Queen Victoria's teenaged diary. Yet, The Public Domain Review offers more than a collection of intriguing ephemera. The project also publishes long-form essays that contextualize and analyze public domain material. In addition, the site features a monthly Curator's Choice series, where curators from around the world share public domain material from their institution's collections. Interested readers may subscribe to an email Newsletter to receive bi-weekly notifications about the latest article and the most interesting content featured in the Review.