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UH Press Awarded $90K Grant to Digitize Out-of-print Books

April 15, 2017, 1:02 PM HST
* Updated April 12, 12:28 PM
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UH Press will make over 100 out-of-print available for open access beginning in 2018. Photo courtesy of UH Mānoa.

The University of Hawai‘i will receive a $90,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to digitize 100 out-of-print University of Hawai‘i Press books and make them available online.

The project is part of the Humanities Open Book Program, a joint initiative between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for supporting our open-access initiatives,” said Trond Knutsen, UH Press digital publishing manager. “Now, with the advent of digital technology, these works can become available to a new generation of readers around the world.”

The 100 titles include topics on Asian studies, Pacific studies, linguistics, anthropology and history. UH Press selected them according to their contemporary relevance, historical significance and practical value for teaching and research.

“This initiative will be an enormous contribution to the advance of scholarship globally, but particularly for colleagues and students in places in Asia and the Pacific where libraries are inadequate and access to printed scholarly sources is difficult,” said Barbara Watson Andaya, chair of the UH Mānoa Asian Studies Program.

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The digitized titles will be hosted online beginning in 2018. Readers will be able to download them in EPUB and PDF formats through a custom open-access portal. Some titles will be available for immediate printing.

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“We hope this project will be only the beginning of a long-term effort to revitalize UH Press’s backlist,” said UH System President David Lassner. “This project will magnify the reach and influence of scholarly work done here at the University of Hawai‘i, and support educational and cultural initiatives in the Asia and Pacific regions.”

UH Press currently offers more than 800 digital titles online through library e-book vendors and more than 350 scholarly monographs through Hawai‘i Scholarship Online, a partnership with Oxford University Press and University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO).

“As stewards of scholarship, we find it important to keep our books widely accessible,” said Joel Cosseboom, UH Press interim director and publisher. “This grant will move us forward in disseminating knowledge while also highlighting our incredible backlist, which includes some of the best research among university presses.”

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