Bucknell University Press Books floating on a gray background

Bucknell Awarded $1 Million Mellon Foundation Grant for Liberal Arts Based Digital Publishing Cooperative

February 10, 2020

by Mike Ferlazzo

Books published by the Bucknell University Press. Part of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will create a new Bucknell Digital Press. Emily Paine, Communications

Bucknell University has been awarded a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to develop a liberal arts based digital editions publishing cooperative. With the grant, Bucknell will partner with the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) and Newcastle (U.K.) University to establish a publishing cooperative that supports an expanding collection of peer-reviewed digital scholarly works.

Led by principal investigator Diane Jakacki, Bucknell digital scholarship coordinator, the grant partners — led by Susan Brown of CWRC and James Cummings of Newcastle University — will produce a production and dissemination platform named LAB|Pro (the Liberal Arts Based Production and Publishing Platform) and in collaboration with the Bucknell University Press will develop the Bucknell Digital Press to market the digital editions for the cooperative.

"This grant was designed to find ways to better produce, publish and preserve digital scholarly editions," says Jakacki. "Over the past decade, an increasing number of editors have sought to publish their work digitally, and some have assumed that they need to develop their own protocols, custom code sets and preservation mechanisms in order to do so. This has made sustainable institutional support for them very difficult. What this project will do is establish and disseminate protocol-driven, best practice, cooperative-based approaches to digital production and publication of these materials."

Bucknell's Liberal Arts Based Digital Editions Publishing Cooperative (LAB Cooperative) will develop an online editorial production, publication, dissemination and preservation framework for preservable digital scholarly publishing.

"We are well-situated to do this at Bucknell because of our strong commitment to digital humanities," says Jakacki. "The directive of this grant is to establish these protocols and make sure that you can create deliverables that can be sustained, regardless of how much infrastructure you can anticipate from your institution."

Some of the grant's initial anchor projects will be Moravian Lives, a digital collection led by Professor Katherine Faull, German and comparative humanities; Florentine Codex Project, a collection led by Professor Obed Lira, Spanish; and Jakacki's REED London Online.

The grant is one of three $1 million awards by the Mellon Foundation to develop digital edition publishing cooperatives.

"These projects provide cutting-edge and sustainable models for the dissemination, use and preservation of original sources," notes Mellon Foundation Program Officer Patricia Hswe. "They demonstrate the potential of digital technologies to strengthen interpretive scholarship, and in turn to advance our society's shared understanding of history."

The funding will provide additional staffing, significant support for undergraduate research in digital humanities, and digital infrastructure to develop and manage the Bucknell Digital Press.


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