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Free public domain books, art and music

Updated on September 24, 2018
Paul Klee Public domain image
Paul Klee Public domain image

Eleven in 2011

Creative works in the Public Domain from authors and painters, Nobel prize winners, politicians and anarchists that entered into the public domain after the copyright expired in 2011. Eleven artists are featured who influenced the world in the early decades of the 20th century.

The books of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leon Trotsky are very well-known -- especially if you you have an interest in world history or subjects like the Russian Revolution.

Look for more great composers and musician in the public domain this year including Jerry Roll Morton, Frank Bridge, Ignacy Paderewski, Christian Sinding, Jef Denijn, Siegfried Alkan, Johan Wagenaar, Henry Walford Davies, Primo Riccitelli, Enrique Saborido, Agustin Bardi.

Creative works in the Public Domain 2011

  • John Buchan - Scottish novelist and Governor General of Canada
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald - One of the great American writers of the 20th century
  • Paul Klee - Seminal painter in expressionism, cubism, and surrealism
  • Leon Trotsky - Russian Marxist revolutionary and Soviet politician
  • Nathanael West - US author, screenwriter and satirist

1st Baron Tweedsmuir

Public domain books by John Buchan (1875 - 1940)

Find public domain sources for the classic Prester John and find dozen more books by Buchan in a variety of digital formats for iPad and Kindle, ePub and audio books.

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is available for ereaders in the Kindle version and also in the audio book format, paperback and hardcover.


F. Scott Fitzgerald - Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940)

The man who coined the term "the Jazz Age", wrote in a style that may have shaped Hollywood film noir style films of the 1940s and 50s, with his vivid descriptions of back alley atmospheres and shadowy encounters.

Fitzgerald also wrote for the Saturday Evening Post and other publications. He married the socialite and novelist Zelda Sayre who accepted his proposal only after he secured the rights to his first play: This Side of Paradise

Public Domain ebooks

  1. This Side Of Paradise

    Read four titles by Fitzgerald at Project Gutenberg (with duplicates at including Flappers and Philosophers, The Beautiful and Damned and Tales of the Jazz Age.

Emma Goldman - (1869 - 1940)

An anarchist in the years before and during the regime of Leon Trotsky and his political agenda for the USSR.

  1. Marriage and Love

    Download Public Domain books from Emma Goodman, including Anarchism What it Really stands for and 90 other titles from the Internet Archive about the author.


    This year, over 100 years after the publication of her seminal Anarchism and Other Essays, the writings of Emma Goldman enter the public domain. Article from the Public Domain Review.

Paul Klee - (1879 - 1940)

Paul Klee was one of the six original members of the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany, open from 1919 to 1933 in the years between major conflicts in the world. Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Albers were the other painters in the group which also included the architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Josef's wife Anni Albers, the textile designer.

Klee knows how to use color like no other artist, and his compositions of mysterious symbols that might inhabit your dreams are arranged with a sense of graphic design, and a sense of humor, as well. The work of Klee and the Bauhaus school shaped the world of art and design for generations to come.


Leon Trotsky - (1879 - 1940) born: Lev Davidovich Bronshtein

Internet Archive ebooks and audio books

  1. Leon Trotsky

    21 books by the former Russian commissar and Marxist leader in English, French and Spanish.

  2. In Defense of Leon Trotsky - Alan Woods

    Over 100 books about Trotsky are in the public domain.

Nathanael West - (1903 - 1940) born: Nathan von Wallenstein Weinstein

Nathan was a funny guy. He forged his transcript to get into university in New York, and he loved to tell the story about almost being lynched by a mob when 'Casey' was at bat and dropped the ball (literally).

He fancied the writing of Oscar Wilde and hung out with comedians S. J. Perelman and writers William Carlos Williams and Dashiell Hammett. In 1933 he moved to Hollywood to pursue a lucrative career as a screen writer, completing 12 screenplays, 4 novels, 2 plays and short stories.

Public Domain movie by Nathanael West

  1. Born To Be Wild (1938) on the internet

Comments about this year's artists - Have you heard of these historical figures?

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    • dotpattern profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Moire 

      5 years ago from West Village, New York City

      @TACTCI LM: Hope you found a good book to download in 2013 - there's some good choices this year.

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 

      5 years ago

      This is a great lens about a books in the public domain, I was thinking of doing something like this one day myself. Thanks for making this, a great public domain resource.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I had a Swedish penpal in college who loved Paul Klee and introduced me to his work.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      ...oops, hit "post" too soon. The art work now in public domain is what is catching my eye here.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd heard only of two of them. A unique book list!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      No I haven't.


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