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  • Janice
    Jun 12, 2007
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      The resource that I most often use is free. HeritageQuest is an
      online service, that is offered by most libraries free of charge.
      Some libraries even provide home access to this research service Once
      accessed, you can search for a name, or a place, and a list of online
      books in PDF format are provided.

      While the actual use/posting of these PDF files on your web sites are
      prohibited, transcribing the information from those files to a TXT
      format, is not (at least for the copyright free books).

      What IS in the public domain in the United States as of 1 January 2007:
      1. All works published in the United States before 1923
      2. Works published WITHOUT a copyright notice between 1923-1977
      3. Works published without a copyright notice between 1978 to 1 March
      1989, that was without subsequent registration
      4. Works published with a copyright notice between 1923-1963, but the
      copyright was not renewed.

      For more specific details about copyright see here (a PDF file)
      http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/copyrightterm.pdf

      Janice Brown