According to a bibliography compiled by S.T. Joshi, Lovecraft published sixty-five stories in his lifetime1. Twenty-three stories were published before 1923, and these stories are clearly in the public domain. This collection includes the humorous serial "Herbert West: Reanimator" and the haunting "The Music of Erich Zann".

Of the remaining forty-two works, Lovecraft published some stories in amateur journals that failed to provide a copyright notice. He also published in commercial publications that vanished before being able to renew their copyrights. Since these fifteen stories did not meet the statutory requirements for protection, they entered the public domain upon publication or when the first copyright term expired in the 1950s.

Lovecraft published the remaining twenty-seven stories in commercial magazines that did meet the requirements for copyright protection. These stories include his most famous works: "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Dunwich Horror", and "At the Mountains of Madness". Lovecraft published twenty-six of these stories in Weird Tales. Astounding Stories published "At the Mountains of Madness". While the magazines faithfully renewed the copyrights for each issue, we will see that it is unclear whether a magazine renewal also protects the isolated individual components of each issue.

Next: Arkham House Publishers and the H.P. Lovecraft Copyrights »


1 Joshi, S.T. H.P. Lovecraft & Lovecraft Criticism. Holicong, PA: Wildside Press, 1981.