I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the BEST sources for great Public Domain content is the U.S. Government! Billions of dollars are spent each year to create programs, research, publications, websites, consumer education and much more. And guess what? YOU are paying for it…it’s your taxpayer dollars at work. Of course, the great news is that works created by federal employees during the course of their job are in the Public Domain. What that means for you and me is that there is a LOT of great content of all types, created by some of the brightest people, available to us right now to use for products, articles, blog posts and more!
The challenge is always finding the content. I always say that you can’t find what you don’t know to look for. That’s true “most” of the time. The trick that can overcome that rule is to understand HOW to look…and that usually involves some stealth research tricks…grin…or access to a good search engine. And when it comes to finding content from the U.S. Government, there are several “search engine” options you have available to you.
Below is a list of my favorite, government-related search engines. Each have different focuses for accessing different types of content, but all can lead you down the “Yellow Brick Road” (yellow meaning GOLD…grin) for great content!
http://www.loc.gov (Library of Congress)
http://www.archives.gov (National Archives and Records Administration)
http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/BasicSearchForm (Archival Research Catalog)
http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/ (Archives Library Information Center)
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html (American Memory)
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/ (Prints & Photographs Online Catalog)
In closing, I’ll leave you with this thought…this content is yours…you paid for it with your tax dollars…so why aren’t you using what’s yours? Think of it as the ultimate tax rebate. Make products from the content your tax dollars helped create. Sell those products and enjoy 100% of the profit. Cost to you…NOTHING! (You already paid, remember?!).
Your only question should be, “What can I create next?” Go have fun!