The Sweet Public Domain: Celebrating Copyright Expiration with the Honey Bunch Series


The Sweet Public Domain: Celebrating Copyright Expiration with the Honey Bunch Series was developed by members of Scholarly Communication and Publishing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Sara Benson, editor-in-chief
Sara Benson is the copyright librarian and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a JD from the University of Houston Law Center, an LLM from Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley, and an MSLIS from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the Library, Sara was a lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Law for ten years. She is the host of the Podcast ©hat (“Copyright Chat”) available on iTunes. Sara’s recent research interests include working a large-scale project studying how to effectively teach fair use doctrine to librarians. This study was published in the spring issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship. The goal of her research agenda is to “shape the future of copyright policy by examining both on-the-ground practice in libraries and museums as well as the sociopolitical guiding principles behind such practices.”

Kaylen Dwyer, production editor
Kaylen Dwyer is an MSLIS student at the U of I and a graduate assistant for Scholarly Communication and Publishing. She has served on editorial boards for SourceLab and Relief: A Journal of Art and Faithand was senior editor of Taylor University's undergraduate literary journal, Parnassus. As part of the team for The Sweet Public Domain, Kaylen was responsible for gathering the materials for the exhibit, editing the texts, custom coding, and graphic design. 

Contributing Authors

Sara Benson (biography above)
Read: ​The Sweet, Sweet Public Domain

LuElla D’Amico is an assistant professor of English and co-coordinator of the women’s and gender studies program at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Her primary area of study is girls’ literature in the nineteenth century, and her articles and essays on series fiction and children’s literature more broadly have appeared in Children’s Literature in Education, Girlhood Studies, and Who Writes for Black Children?, among others venues. LuElla has recently published an article on the Elsie Dinsmore series in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and she edited the collection Girls’ Series Fiction in American Popular Culture (Lexington Books, 2016). LuElla currently serves as president of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Society.

Read: ​Just a Little Bestselling Series: An Introduction to the Stratemeyer Syndicate’s Honey Bunch Series

Kirby Ferguson is a filmmaker, writer, and speaker known for creating the smash online series, Everything is a Remix. He is acclaimed for his energetic, entertaining and informative filmmaking style, which incorporates narration, motion graphics, animation, and music. Kirby is currently midway through production of the feature documentary This is Not a Conspiracy Theory, which looks at the history of conspiracy theories and why so many believe them. He is also an established speaker, who has presented at TED, SXSW, Google, Hulu, Netflix, Columbia University, NYU, and many more.

Read: Allow Me to Rain on Your Public Domain Parade

Deidre Johnson taught children’s literature in the English Department at West Chester University for twenty-five years. Her early research and publications were on the Stratemeyer syndicate; she also investigated the life and children’s fiction of Syndicate ghostwriter Josephine Lawrence. Deidre’s current research and publications focus primarily on nineteenth-century girls’ and children’s series and the women who wrote them. She is also associate editor of Dime Novel Round-Up and maintains a research website at

Read: Honey Bunch: Creation and History of the Series


Paige Kuester is the current project archivist for the Marine Corps Film Repository at the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections. While a graduate assistant with Scholarly Communications and Publishing, she initiated the Honey Bunch Project by identifying works in the Illinois Library collection that would enter the public domain in 2019. From these works, Paige selected texts of interest for researchers. She also began mapping out the digital exhibit for the final project before her time at the department ended. 

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