Culture is built on shared experiences, history, and information. While some of that is protected by various intellectual property regimes, much of it is in the public domain. Open access efforts work to make our shared cultural heritage available to all of us. That involves understanding when works are encumbered by intellectual property rights, and when they are in our shared public domain. It also requires understanding the technical tools used to connect digital versions of culture online. Open access also struggles with the provenance of our shared cultural heritage, working to understand how culture in the public domain is still connected to specific communities, and what it means for individuals, groups, and governments to exercise control.