October 18, 2021

University of Illinois Awarded $1 Million Mellon Grant to Help Humanities Scholars Explore Digital Publishing Options

From the U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

A four-year, $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help University of Illinois humanities scholars identify digital publishing options and produce new publications that will best disseminate their research.

The collaborative project involves the University Library, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the department of African American studies. It aims to help scholars understand the digital publishing options available to them and identify those that will best meet their publication goals, whether it’s gaining tenure, providing the broadest possible access to their research or using multimedia formats to present their work.

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“This is a time of enormous change in all aspects of scholarship and scholarly publishing. Things are happening very rapidly,” said Allen Renear, GSLIS dean.

“Researchers at GSLIS will be talking with scholars about their publishing needs, looking at the digital options available and assessing their pros and cons,” said Megan Senseney, a GSLIS project coordinator.

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“In addition to being a hub that supports scholarly communication activities, the Library also provides digital preservation services,” said University Librarian John Wilkin. “We have a tremendous digital preservation repository supporting many types of media. It can support vast amounts of the type of content that makes digital publishing dynamic.”

“The Library will be involved in exploring various digital platforms and how to adapt research to all the various media an author would like to use, as well as how best to make digitally published research available,” said library professor Aaron McCollough.

One of the goals of the project is to develop a model for other universities for assessing the needs of scholars and providing support for various publication options. McCollough said that will include best practices for using the various digital publishing tools, and for moving a project from initial creation to publication to the audience.

Wilkin noted that the Mellon Foundation supports the digital publishing tools Scalar (for including multiple forms of media and various representations of an argument within an author’s work) and Omeka (for displaying exhibits and images), and the U. of I. initiative will help bring together a number of Mellon-funded projects, including those publishing platforms and HWW.

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But wait, there’s more! A second grant from Mellon to UIUC.

Mellon Foundation Funds GSLIS Faculty Work On Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded a grant of more than $25,500 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the efforts of GSLIS Associate Professors Jerome McDonough and Lori Kendall and Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn to cultivate a new research community focused specifically on the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.

The project, “Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage,” will assemble a meeting of scholars, practitioners, librarians, and conservationists who will formulate a research and action agenda outlining important questions for the scholarly community. The group plans to meet in early 2016, and a white paper detailing their conclusions will be published later in the year.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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