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How to find Public Domain Works
Believe it or not, there’s actually some method to the search madness when looking for public domain materials to use in your business. The search engines have a hard time trying to organize the information precisely because the Internet is so decentralized and vast. In this scenario, the expert searcher does not rely on Google; he relies on specific search strategies. The debate however, rages on about where to find public domain works: On the Internet or in the real world, sifting through libraries and stores holding old books? The answer, of course, is two-pronged: You can use both avenues to supplement your research – find a public domain title via the Internet and acquire through a real-world search. Alternatively, you can also download some public domain works from the Internet, and despite what people might tell you, finding public domain works in bookstores and libraries is quite easy. In searching for public domain material you can use: The Search Engines A search engine can only point you to the general direction of public domain repositories, and as such should only be used if you don’t have any previous leads on a market.
Niche Directories This is a little better, as directories allow you to find niche-specific information. The only problem here is that some directories may not have the same breadth of information as the search engine might have, and as such you may miss out on a lot of decent public domain works. Government websites If you are looking to use government publications as your target public domain resource, then the Internet is your haven. Most, if not all, government publications find their way online and very quickly, as well. This is excellent news for anyone wishing to use such information as content for their website, or as part of their services.
Online Libraries This is where it starts to get interesting – while most online libraries will consist of recent to moderately old books, you can find many fantastic public domain resources here. The best part is that many local libraries have started creating online portals, and you can search in your local library before actually heading over. If that is not the case, the best you can do is to find the relevant public domain work and once you have a title and author, search for it online – more on this later. .
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