I stumbled across this site and thought it interesting enough to share. From the site:
"The aim of this site is to catalog all deceased authors, and all authors of books published before 1964, including for each their full name(s), date & place of death, date & place of birth, pseudonyms, gender & nationality (not nationality for those who died before 1920), and their books published before 1964."
The purpose of this site is:
1. by cataloging the dates of death of authors, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “life + x years” rule applies. Where the date of death is unavailable, the date of birth or date of their first publication can be used to set an upper limit to the duration of copyright.
2. by cataloging the dates of publication of books, to enable the determination of the expiry of their copyright where a “publication + x years” rule applies. In the US, for works published in 1923 thru 1963 the copyright status also depends on whether the initial copyright was renewed – see the Catalog of Copyright Entries (Renewals) webpage for guidance on this.
3. to identify those books already available on the Internet, to help online readers and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort by “electronic republishers”.