15,000 historical postcards for free (CC) thanks to U of Alberta

Deer fawn - West Hawk Lake - Manitoba - Canada. - Prairie Postcards PC001724

Check out this collection of 15,000 free (under creative common license) historical postcards. Thanks to University of Alberta Libraries.

Electric storm - photographed midnight July 9.06, Edmonton, Alta.. [Edmonton: c1906. - Prairie Postcards PC006393

4 Responses to 15,000 historical postcards for free (CC) thanks to U of Alberta

  1. dafna says:


    i am somewhat familiar with CC as a previous social web site used it, but in order to download/share posts legally everyone had to sign a “release of their work”.

    have you blogged or written about your opinions on copyright, IP or CC somewhere? some plainly written links on the topics would be appreciated :)

    i noticed you rejoiced about a book entering public domain recently – what exactly does that mean?

  2. kempton says:

    Hi Dafna,

    For me, the point of using a CC (Creative Commons) license for many of my work is that I don’t require people to sign anything as long as they use my content within my licensing terms.
    To illustrate, if someone want to license my photo for commercial purpose or print in a newspaper, then they should contact me and pay me. :)

    I have written about CC but let me defer to the expert. Prof. Larry Lessig lead the movement for 10 years. Check out this entry where I’ve linked to a few things, including his book which is free for download.

    “a book entering public domain” means that you can do anything commercially with you as you please and you don’t have to pay anyone. You can make it into a movie, you can print the book to sell, etc. When a piece of music entered into public domain, then you can use in in movies, TV shows etc without paying anyone.

    As an additional factoid that I love to tell. You know “Happy Birthday to you” is still copyrighted and every time you hear it sang on TV or movies, licensing fees have to be paid!

    Thanks for dropping by,

  3. dafna says:

    thanks for the link! i will check it out.

    i wish you would write more. although i really enjoy your linked articles. so public domain translates to “royalty free” (as in the pre-paid royalty free art designers use)? i am guessing that items in public domain at least require attribution, where royalty free does not.

    CC and public domain is a kinder gentler way of addressing IP issues.


  4. kempton says:

    Sorry dafna,

    Looks like I might have confused you with one key fact.

    Public domain are most usually previously copyrighted material so the author (of the book or music, etc) could benefit commercially but then there is a limitation for the length of time or else the world culture will be much much poorer.

    CC is a very neat and easy to understand way to address some IP issues.

    Whereas “public domain” is a state of some material most likely formerly copyrighted. I say “most likely” you or anyone can specifically release his/her work to the public domain and let any to use their creative work for whatever purpose others see fit.

    Wikipedia has done a pretty decent job on the two defs. As you can see from the article length, they are lengthy stuff that will be time consuming for me to recreate and it will be easier for you to read them there.

    Have fun.

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