Public Domain Collections: Free to Share & Reuse

Explore what’s in the public domain with our visualization tool.

Did you know that more than 180,000 of the items in our Digital Collections are in the public domain?

That means everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website.

Search Digital Collections

No permission required. No restrictions on use.

Below you'll find tools, projects, and explorations designed to inspire your own creations—go forth and reuse!


Visualize the Public Domain

An experiment by NYPL Labs to help patrons understand and explore what is contained in this release. Browse by century, genre, collection, or color.

Discover the Collections

Learn more about our public domain release. Our blog post series will talk about what it means, and where you can go with these materials. 


Use Our Data and Utilities

Our digitized collections are available as machine-readable data: over one million records for you to search, crawl and compute. Check out our API or download the data from GitHub.



Public Domain Remixes

As a way to introduce you to our public domain collections and inspire new works, NYPL Labs has developed a suite of projects that show some of the possibilities contained in this rich material.



Navigating the Green Books

In the age of segregation, the Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, bars, and gas stations where black travelers were welcomed. Map out trips you would take with this tool.

Mansion Maniac

A maze-building game that lets you explore mansion floor plans from early 20th century New York City, sourced from the Apartment Houses of the Metropolis collection.


Fifth Avenue, Then & Now

Take a tour of the Fifth Avenue, past and present! Compare the photos from the 1911 Fifth Avenue from Start to Finish collection with 2015's Google Street View.


Blog Series: Spotlight on the Public Domain

Famous Literary Locales, Visualized

by Gwen Glazer
January 25, 2016
Public domain images from Digital Collections that remind us of classic books.

Using Public Domain Materials in the Classroom

by Bridget McCormick
January 20, 2016
Take a look at these ideas for integrating specific tools, items and collections into lesson plans for students of various ages.

#nyplremix: Get Creative With the Public Domain

by Lauren Lampasone
January 6, 2016
What can I use to make things with public domain images? What collections should I know about if I am interested in making things?

Free for All: NYPL Enhances Public Domain Collections For Sharing and Reuse

by Shana Kimball
January 5, 2016
We are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!

Your Digital Collections Discoveries