January 1st marked the 5th US public domain expansion in recent history. HathiTrust created the collection 1927 Publications in preparation, which includes more than 60,000 volumes that are now public domain (no longer under copyright) for a United States audience. The year 1927 saw a United States steeped in the arts and literature. Below are just a few of the creative works included in the thousands of HathiTrust volumes newly available as Full View:


  • Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
    One of Cather’s most critically acclaimed works, it explores Catholicism in 19th century New Mexico via a series of vignettes. It is based on the life of Jean-Baptiste Lamy.
  • Herman Hesse, Der Steppenwolf
    The German edition of this wildly popular novel was published in 1927, and is now open. However, English language readers will have to wait, as an English translation was not published until 1929..
  • Mourning Dove (Humishuma), Co-ge-we-a, the Half Blood; a Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range
    Cogewea is one of the first known novels by an American Indian woman. It is the story of
    a mixed-race girl caught between the worlds of white ranchers and full-blood Indians and between tradition and change. The book combines authentic Indian culture and lore within the structure and language of a western romance novel.
  • James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-coloured Man
    Despite its title, this book is not an autobiography but a novel about a biracial man living in post-reconstruction America. His experiences lead him to “pass” as white to secure his safety and advancement. A writer, diplomat, poet, and civil rights activist, the author first published the book in 1912 but revised and republished it in 1927.  
  • Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey Illustrated by Amy Drevenstedt.
    Wilder’s second and most famous novel, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928.

  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
    A modernist stream of consciousness novel published by Hogarth Press which was founded by Woolf and her husband in 1917.

Short Fiction

  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
    This volume includes the final set of 12 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes.
  • Samples; A Collection of Short Stories
    Compiled by the community workers of the New York guild for the Jewish blind, by Lillie Ryttenberg & Beatrice Lang, this anthology includes stories by George Ade, Sherwood Anderson, Barry Benefield, Konrad Bercovici, Louis Bromfield, Dorothy Canfield, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, Edna Ferber, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zona Gale, John Galsworthy, Sam Hellman, Ernest Hemingway, Fannie Hurst, Mary Roberts Rinehart, G. B. Stern, Thyra Samter Winslow, and Elinor Wylie.
  • P.G. Wodehouse, Carry On, Jeeves!
    A collection of 10 short stories featuring everyone’s favorite unflappable valet.


  • Caroling Dusk; An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets edited by Countee Cullen; decorations by Aaron Douglas.
    Caroling Dusk features poems by 38 poets and includes a short biography for each. Edited by Countee Cullen when he was 24 years old, it is one of four major poetry anthologies from the Harlem Renaissance.


These poems capture and celebrate the art of “folk sermons” - sermons that were well known, passed around, and (with slight changes) delivered by many preachers.

  • Edith Sitwell, Rustic Elegies
    Dame Edith Sitwell was a prolific British poet and critic.
  • Charles Reznikoff, Five Groups of Verse
    An early collection by a poet who will later be associated with the Objectivist poets. His best known works were not published until the 1960s & 1970s.
  • William Carlos Williams, “Patterson”, in the February 1927 edition of The Dial 
    Williams eventually expanded his 85-line poem into a 5-volume epic poem published between 1944 to 1956. The poet’s defining line “no ideas but in things” are in the original.

                                                The Beach at Biarritz by Oskar Kokoschka.

Children’s Literature

  • A.A. Milne, Now We are Six with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.
    The second book of children’s poems by the famous author of Winnie the Pooh.
  • Franklin W. Dixon, The Secret of the Old Mill (volume 3 of the Hardy Boys series)
    This is the third volume of the popular Hardy Boys series. The first three volumes were all published in 1927 and are now public domain.


  • Bela Bartok, Out of Doors: Five Piano Pieces
    1926 was a productive year for the Hungarian composer, considered to be one of the most important composers of the 20th century. A number of his 1926 compositions were published in 1927, including these pieces for solo piano.
  • Irving Berlin, “Blue Skies
    This song was an instant success when it was first composed in 1926 and has continued to be popular. It has been performed by such eclectic artists as Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Willie Nelson. The song inspired two movies that bear its name.

  • George Gershwin, Preludes for Piano
    An American pianist and composer, Gershwin spanned genres to include popular,
    classical, and jazz pieces. He also wrote the scores for musicals, operas, and piano concertos. Hefirst performed these short pieces in 1926.