Books Features

13 Books about the Middle Ages that are now in the Public Domain

January 1, 2019 was heralded as Public Domain Day in the United States, with tens of thousands of published works now available for anyone to use without permission or fee. Under American law, published works, including books, music and films, are protected by copyright for 95 years if they were made between 1923 and 1977. Those works published in the year 1923 have now had their copyright ended, leaving them in the public domain.

While much attention has been paid to famous novels and films that are now available, there is also some things that will interest medievalists. Here is our list of 13 books on the Middle Ages that are now in the public domain and are now available to be read or downloaded through sites like the HathiTrust Digital Library and the Internet Archive.


St. Francis of Assisi, by G. K. Chesterton

A history of mediaeval Ireland from 1110 to 1513, by Edmund Curtis

Life on a mediaeval barony: a picture of a typical feudal community in the thirteenth century, by William Stearns Davis

A History Of The Medieval Church 590-1500, by Margaret Deanesly

The early Irish monastic schools: a study of Ireland’s contribution to early medieval culture, by Hugh Graham

The rise of universities, by Charles Homer Haskins

The Social And Political Ideas Of Some Great Mediaeval Thinkers, by F J C Hearnshaw


A short history of the Fatimid Khalifate, by De Lacy O’Leary

The times of Saint Dunstan, by J. Armitage Robinson

Nicholas Glassberger and his works, with the text of his Major cronica Boemorum moderna (A.D. 1200-1310) by Walter Seton

Aspects of the Italian renaissance, by Rachel Annand Taylor

Vassar mediaeval studies, by members of the Faculty of Vassar College

Anglo-Norman language & literature, by Johan Vising

The HathiTrust Digital Library has created a list of over 53,000 items that were published in 1923, and we encourage users to search there for more works that might be available. Please note that other parts of the world have different standards of copyright protection.


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