January 28, 2022

OOP Books: Mellon Foundation and NEH Award 10 Grants, More Than $700,000 For Humanities Open Book Program

From the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest funders of humanities research in the United States, announced more than $700,000 in new grants today that will give a second life to outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities by turning them into free e-books.

Under the new Humanities Open Book program, NEH and Mellon are awarding grants totaling roughly $774,000 to publishers to identify great humanities books, secure all appropriate rights, and make them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license.


In addition to making the books available, this new collaborative effort between NEH and Mellon will also better define the costs and benefits of digitizing out-of-print scholarship and making it available, at no charge, to the general public.

AWARDED PROJECTS  (Chart via Mellon Foundation)

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) $16,500 Building on the ACLS Humanities E-Book program, a pilot project for scholars to work through ACLS to digitally republish existing backlist titles as free e-books.
The American Numismatic Society $47,500 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 89 exceedingly rare monographs on coins and currency that will also link to several Open Access online databases such as the Pleaides Gazetteer, which would allow scholars to learn about the geographic location of ancient coins.
Appalachian State University $88,000 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 73 classic works on the history and culture of Southern Appalachia published by the defunct Appalachian Consortium Press.
Cornell University $83,635 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 20 classic humanities texts from Cornell University Press in the areas of Slavic Studies, German Studies, and literary criticism.
Northwestern University $73,000 Creating digital free e-books of 64 outstanding humanities titles in the historically and currently important areas for Northwestern University Press of African studies, literary criticism, and philosophy.
Oregon State University $96,437 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 26 essential texts from women authors representing work originally published by the Oregon-based independent press CALYX.
University of Florida at Gainesville $79,000 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 30 books on the history and culture of Florida and the Caribbean, in partnership with George A. Smathers Libraries and the Florida Humanities Council.
University of North Texas $95,599 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 146 books on the history of Texas and Oklahoma, selected by the University of North Texas Press, Oklahoma Historical Society, Portal to Texas History, Texas State Historical Association, and UNT Libraries Scholarly Publishing Services.
Wayne State University $94,000 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 59 classic humanities titles on Jewish and regional Detroit studies from Wayne State University Press in partnership with the Library System.
Wesleyan University $100,000 Creating digital, free e-book versions of 18 essential texts from Wesleyan University Press on the history of dance and theater.
TOTAL $773,761

Read the Complete Mellon Foundation Announcement

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.