I am building the largest Titanic model in South Africa called the "TINTANIC" model ship. I am also writing a book about the construction of this most wonderful model which is three phase - called "TINTANIC, Practically Unthinkable!". I am writing the chapters to include 1912 historical events which occured on the Titanic time line featuring passengers and crew of the voyage of importance or relevance, then including historical archival information (story line) from the now closed Titanic Society of South Africa (of which I own all the rights pertaining to documents etc.) and finally writing about the "TINTANIC" model - documenting her meticulous construction down to the rivet.
I have a question though relating to use of public domain... The 1912 historical events - on Wikia there are incredibly beautifully accounts of the passengers or crew such as here http://titanic.wikia.com/wiki/Edward_John_Smith - I would like to paraphrase details surrounding the key people in the disaster. Am I allowed to make use of this content for my book if I credit Wikia in the acknowlegements for these and other details? Are these accounts about who they were or their background and actions in the disaster labelled as "public domain"?
I'm not a boffin with all the contractual terms or licensing agreements - I would like a simple answer to a most simple question... Can anyone explain to me in small words please? Much appreciated. Thanks!!