PRESS RELEASES 2004
ACLS History E-Book Project Collection Grows
The ACLS History E-Book Project now includes almost 1000 titles selected by historians in the fields of American, Asian, European, and Middle Eastern history, and the history of technology. The History E-Book Project will continue to add titles and fields, including forthcoming books in Latin American and African history, in the course of the next year. Access to the Project is through library subscriptions, which range from $350–$2000 depending on the size of the institution. Consortial discounts are also available. The Project currently has over 300 subscribers worldwide, ranging from small institutions and community colleges to major research institutions. For further information on subscriptions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEB to Announce Self-Sustainability at AAUP Annual Meeting
Following up on ACLS President Pauline Yu’s AAUP plenary address, HEB Project Directors Ronald G. Musto and Eileen Gardiner will lead a panel, “Update on Online Publishing Ventures,” on Monday, June 28, from 5 to 6 p.m. They will bring AAUP collaborators up to date on HEB’s progress and announce important news: HEB will reach self-sustainability by 2006 with no further external funding.
For more information on the ACLS History E-Book Project, please contact email@example.com
HEB Completes Season of Learned Society Meetings
The ACLS History E-Book Project (HEB) has just completed its latest season of attendance at the annual meetings of learned societies with a series of lectures, panels, demos, and exhibits at the meetings of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in Anchorage, the American Historical Association (AHA) in Washington, D.C., the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in Boston, the joint meeting of the American Philological Association (APA) and the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) in San Francisco, and the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) in New York City. HEB participated in the meetings as both a partner in the production of scholarly communication and as an acknowledged authority on e-book publishing.
Through all of the meetings HEB has stressed two themes it sees as crucial to the development of scholarly communication in the digital age: the development of the second stage of scholarly online publishing and the emerging importance of libraries, university digital centers, and the learned societies themselves as publishers of cutting-edge electronic research in history.
As HEB has explained at the various meetings, the first stage of digital publishing was driven by pioneering individuals addressing largely individual concerns. Though these books successfully introduced historians to some of the methods and issues of electronic publishing, they failed to create a sustainable publishing model, necessary for the economical production of high-quality e-books. Their methods and results could not be replicated, and, though often free to the user, they were created at great expense, with open-ended budgets and hidden costs. By contrast, second-stage electronic publishing projects represent the collaborative effort of professional programmers, publishers, and librarians, and are hosted and funded by major institutions. They focus on issues of cyberinfrastructure, offering consistent access and search methods as well as editorial and citation standards. Further, they pay close attention to production schedules, marketing, access models, and budget lines. These projects aim for sustainability and have a realistic model for achieving this goal.
As Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), has observed with reference to HEB, the field of history has been central to this transition: “As a discipline, history has taken a leadership role in trying to understand the evolution of the monograph into the digital world; not only do we have pioneering historians exploring the digital medium individually through their works, but also leading scholars thinking about the implications of such works for scholarly practice and norms within the discipline in a way that I have not seen in many other disciplines.”
Although HEB originally planned to partner almost exclusively with university presses in producing second-stage e-books, the current state of scholarly electronic publishing has evolved to recognize the re-emerging role of the learned societies with publishing programs. Over the past year HEB has acknowledged this new encouraging development. As a result of this development, the new e-books to emerge from learned societies are now in production, promising new possibilities, not only for HEB, but for the future of electronic publishing.
New Frontlist Titles Push E-Book Possibilities
Building on its 2003 success in creating a sustainable model for the publication of e-books, the ACLS History E-Book Project has begun a new phase of frontlist publication, launching the first of its truly innovative electronic books. With such features as image viewers, parallel texts, external web resources, and related historiography, these latest titles include works by historians that harness cutting-edge technology for the most effective presentation of their scholarship, making more extensive and creative use of primary sources than is possible with print editions.
To date, the ACLS History E-Book Project has published 12 frontlist titles, with more than 40 titles in production over the next two years. A prime example of much of the above technology, Joshua Brown’s Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America (University of California Press) won the 2003 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications History Book Award and received Honorable Mention for the American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Publication Prize. Brown’s e-book features 183 color and black-and-white images, including 75 wood engravings from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper unavailable in the print edition. A zoomable image viewer, using the same technology employed by DLPS at the University of Michigan for the APIS Project, allows for finely detailed views and comparisons of illustrations, as well as searching across captions. Brown’s related historiography, also available online in the History E-Book Project, provides broad access for the first time in years to valuable out-of-print studies of the American popular magazine.
Several new titles make use of links to external websites to allow the reader to access the author’s original source material. For instance, Akira Iriye’s e-book, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (University of California Press), links to the websites of international organizations discussed in the book. The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., and Judy Miller (Rutgers University Press), due to launch this spring, will feature over 200 links to related websites and to articles in books in established digital library collections, such as Making of America.
Also forthcoming this spring, the electronic version of Scottsboro, Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts edited by Andrew H. Lee (New York University Press), will permit side-by-side viewing of a recently discovered collection of 111 linoleum prints depicting the historic Scottsboro trial with an earlier, more radical draft housed at the Wolfsonian Library at Florida International University. A new essay by Lee comments on the artistic and political evolution of this product of radical American politics, inviting further study and analysis.
Finally, Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan: Letters and Memoirs from Colonial and Revolutionary America, 1675–1815 by Kerby A. Miller, Arnold Schrier, Bruce D. Boling, and David N. Doyle (Oxford University Press) will add over 500 scanned images of the original letters that were transcribed in the print edition. An interactive map will provide an alternate navigational tool, permitting readers to access letters by geographic location.