2008 Annual Report: Priorities for the Scholarly Communications Program

About this essay:

From the 2008 Annual Report

By Helen Cullyer
and Donald J. Waters



Scholarly communications covers a broad range of activities, including the discovery, collection, organization, evaluation, interpretation, and preservation of primary and other sources of information, and the publication and dissemination of scholarly research.  Within this wide area, the Scholarly Communications program of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation focuses on three primary objectives: (1) to support libraries and archives in their efforts to preserve and provide access to materials of broad cultural and scholarly significance; (2) to assist scholars in the development of specialized resources that promise to open or advance fields of study in the humanities and humanistic social sciences; and (3) to strengthen the publication of humanistic scholarship and its dissemination to the widest possible audience.

Mellon Foundation staff recognize that even before the current economic crisis, both federal funding agencies and many private foundations began to shift their funding of the humanities from teaching and research in higher education to lectures, exhibitions and other programs aimed at the general public. [1]  There are important public policy reasons for ensuring the broad reach of the humanities, and many of the library and scholarly resources and publications that the Mellon Foundation has supported are accessible and useful to a wide range of people from advanced scholars to students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade and the general public.  However, the touchstone for evaluating Mellon's Scholarly Communications objectives is that their pursuit succeeds in advancing high quality scholarship in the humanities.

Even though these program objectives have remained constant over time, the particular ways in which the Foundation has advanced them have shifted with changes in the academic landscape, the technical environment, and the economic climate.  This document outlines the current priorities of the Scholarly Communications program and provides a roadmap for grant-making in 2009–2010 and beyond that takes account of a variety of ongoing technical, organizational, and other opportunities, as well as the challenges presently facing libraries, universities, scholars, and publishers as they struggle with the widening gap between needs and available resources.  Given the current recession, it is extremely difficult to make any predictions now about the future budgets of Foundation programs. However, the current 2009 budget for the Scholarly Communications program is approximately $20 million.  To provide a sense of scale and proportion for the analysis that follows, staff expect to allocate Scholarly Communications grant funds roughly as follows: 50 percent, or approximately $10 million in 2009, to priorities in the library and archives category; 25 percent, or $5 million in 2009, to priorities under the scholarly resources objective; and 25 percent, or $5 million in 2009, for scholarly dissemination and publication priorities.

1. Libraries and Archives: Preservation and Access

1. Libraries and Archives: Preservation and Access

(a) Cataloging hidden collections

Libraries and archives are key laboratories for humanists. [2]  Many interesting and important discoveries have sprung from research on the special collections—the rare and unique books, manuscripts and archival materials—held by these cultural institutions as potential objects of humanistic inquiry.  However, a 1998 study by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) determined that up to one-third of the special collections in libraries were unprocessed and uncataloged with no records available online to alert scholars to their existence. [3]  These collections were thus invisible and unexplored in the research process.  Indeed, because they are so time-consuming, difficult, and expensive to process and catalog, librarians and archivists have sometimes seen these collections not as treasures for scholars to discover and exploit, but as an "unwelcome white elephant." [4]  In recent years, partly with Foundation support, there has been a concerted, multi-pronged effort to reverse this perception and make the processing of special collections much more manageable, and to make it easier for humanistic scholars to subject them to "laboratory" examination.

Librarians and archivists have begun streamlining the cataloging process to generate "more product, less process." [5]  At the same time, partly with Foundation support, cultural institutions have: generated new methods for surveying special collections, assessing their scholarly value, and setting cataloging priorities; [6] developed and deployed new software tools to make the processing of collections more efficient; [7] and adopted new procedures that divide the labor and allow scholars, including graduate students, to contribute their specialized subject knowledge to the cataloging process. [8]  In addition, from 2000 to 2007, the Foundation provided $21.9 million in 65 grants for the cataloging of specific special collections.

Even as substantial progress has been made through these and other efforts, [9] libraries and archives continue to acquire important additional collections of primary source materials.  There is still a great, continuing need to support basic cataloging activities that help advance scholarship.  Last year, after extensive consultation with librarians, archivists, and other experts, staff concluded that the Foundation could make a more effective ongoing contribution by shifting from an internally administered program of grants to a national, competitive, peer-reviewed granting program for the cataloging of hidden special collections in US cultural institutions.  The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) received funds to launch this program. [10]  Scholarly Communications program staff now expect, with approval of the Mellon Trustees, to continue the CLIR program at least through 2012 with awards that would provide grant funds of approximately $4 million per annum for the processing and description of archives, manuscripts and rare books.

With 15 institutions, ranging from large research libraries to small historical societies, receiving awards out of a pool of 118 applicants in its first year of operation, the CLIR program has demonstrated the intense national need for cataloging support. [11]  An additional consequence of the pooling of the national demand has been an expression of a related need for better systems to aggregate special collection catalogs, once they are created, so that scholars and other users can see the interconnections among related collections.  Shared repositories need to be enhanced and developed to store the special collections catalogs in standard data structures with well-defined interfaces for entering and exchanging the cataloging data. In the next two years, program staff expect to offer support for selected initiatives that promise to develop these much needed functions and services.

(b) Performing arts archives

Increased scholarly interest in audio-visual materials and in the historical and critical study of the performing arts makes the archives of performing arts organizations, which are often inaccessible to scholars, fertile ground for humanistic research.  In 2008, Scholarly Communications program staff began to consider with colleagues in the Performing Arts program how the Foundation could best help performing arts organizations assess and preserve archival materials (such as scores, programs, photographs, audio and video recordings, costumes, and business records) that are highly valuable both to artists and to scholars in musicology, performance studies, sociology, dance and social history, and related fields.

In 2008, staff commissioned a survey for internal use of the archival holdings of major US orchestras and opera companies.  The survey results indicate that a set of large US orchestras have archival holdings of significant scholarly value, but may require assistance in developing ongoing, sustainable programs to preserve and catalog their archives so that they become more accessible to the scholarly community.  Staff have invited from these selected orchestras preliminary statements of interest in a possible grant program and are evaluating ways to structure a program that would begin in late 2009 or early 2010.

(c) Collections of digital "papers" and Web archives

After extensive consultation with members of the library community in 2008, staff identified a gaping hole in library and archives policy and practice.  Libraries have long collected the papers of political, literary, and other prominent cultural figures and organizations, but these archives now increasingly include born-digital as well as analog audio-visual and paper materials.  US libraries and archives presently have little capacity for the systematic acquisition, management, processing and preservation of born-digital archives.  In order to ensure that the largely digital records of current and future generations are available for future scholarly study, there is thus an urgent and massive need for the development of appropriate technical and intellectual approaches to the collection of "digital papers," and the education of archivists, special collections librarians, humanists, social scientists and others in their use.

Over the last decade, there has been considerable development and implementation of repository technologies. [12]  Moreover, digital preservation solutions have emerged for some essential elements in the published scholarly record, such as electronic journals. [13]  Although the skills, practices, and technologies that have been developed in these areas are certainly applicable and could serve as essential parts of the necessary infrastructure, [14] the challenges of developing collections of "digital papers" remain largely unexplored.

Among the questions that need to be addressed are: How should the archives of a prominent author, which contain paper manuscripts, digital text files, e-mails, online postings on blogs, Flickr, MySpace, and Facebook, and a variety of analog and digital audiovisual material be processed, secured according to the donor's wishes, and made accessible in ways that facilitate scholarly research?  In which cases may it be important to preserve computer hardware as well as digital files?  How would these collections and their records be integrated most effectively with more traditional archival materials? [15]

The University of Oxford library is one of the few institutions that has begun to invest systematically in acquiring, processing, securing, preserving, and providing access to digital papers, and building the necessary systems and procedures to support this collection activity.  The Foundation provided support for an Oxford initiative in 2008, [16] and staff have begun to invite a series of additional proposals for funding in 2009 and beyond.  The goal is to provide scholars with a much more robust capacity in US research libraries and archives to collect and provide access to the digital papers of literary, political, and other influential figures.  Support is planned for projects that focus on: digital forensics, which consists in the preservation, identification, extraction and interpretation of computer data; [17] the connection of repository infrastructure to library catalogs and integrated library systems; methods of storing and organizing large corpora of e-mails, and text and image files, and of handling personal materials in semi-public commercial and social spaces on the Web; and provision of secure access to born-digital archives.

The collection of Web content is also an area in which staff intend to focus the program’s grantmaking in 2009 and beyond.  Much work has already been accomplished in developing the technical mechanisms for collecting Web content, including especially the development of the Internet Archive, the Web collecting tools it has made available, and its integration with scholarly citation tools such as Zotero. [18]  The grantmaking of the Scholarly Communications program focuses instead on assisting libraries in designing procedures and organizational models by which Web collection is not a technical outpost of the library but is fully integrated with the institution’s larger collection development and preservation strategies.  Scholarly Communications staff also expect to identify and support initiatives that simplify searching and discovery of preserved Web content so that it is easier for scholars to incorporate relevant materials in their work.

(d) Science in conservation and audio-visual preservation

While libraries are expanding their digital collections, they also continue to be custodians of historic printed and manuscript works, photographs, and audio and visual recordings.  All of these materials require specialized conservation knowledge and techniques.  Sophisticated scientific research has become especially critical to all conservation fields over the past two to three decades because of its capacity to advance the understanding of the properties, behaviors, and mechanisms of all relevant materials.  The Scholarly Communications program has recently funded scientific projects at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the British Library, and a new postdoctoral program in materials science at Johns Hopkins University in association with a variety of libraries and other cultural institutions in the Baltimore-Washington area. [19]  Scholarly Communications staff expect to continue to identify and recommend to the Mellon Trustees funding for selected initiatives that both help advance scientific research in materials science and address the specific conservation needs of libraries and archives.

Audio and moving image preservation also continues to be a high priority.  Of particular interest to Scholarly Communications staff are pilot initiatives that help establish standard and efficient procedures for audio preservation based on the principles outlined in the NEH-funded Sound Directions report. [20]  For analog film and video materials, including footage of television programming, many libraries and cultural institutions are seeking to use digitization as a method of preservation, especially as the technology for playback of film and magnetic tape becomes obsolete. [21]  However, digitization standards for film and video are much less mature than for audio, and program staff are interested in identifying selected projects that help establish and advance standards and best practices for the preservation and long-term storage of these kinds of moving images. [22]

(e) Structural and organizational change in research libraries

Leaders in a number of university and independent research libraries are using the occasion of the current severe economic downturn as an opportunity to advance imaginative and innovative plans for making library operations more cost efficient in a time of sharply shrinking budgets, while also maintaining and even enhancing access to scholarly materials and other services that they provide to scholars and students.  Many of these plans involve new and extensive collaborations among institutions and potentially far-reaching structural and procedural changes that may require an initial investment of capital.  Viewing the identification of these opportunities as a high priority, Scholarly Communications staff have set aside a pool of funds for support of the most promising projects.  Staff are just beginning to identify possible initiatives, which are likely to include inter-institutional efforts to reshape cataloging, collection building, the licensing of electronic products, storage of print and digital collections, and data curation and management strategies.

Scholarly Communications staff are also alert to other needs and opportunities occasioned by the recession.  For example, some projects in their last stage of Mellon funding may need additional support to take them through the current economic downturn.  The needs of national and regional service organizations and the independent research libraries (IRLs) may also require attention.  Service organizations, such as the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and Lyrasis (the new organization formed as the result of the merger of the Southeastern Library Network—SOLINET—and the Philadelphia Area Library Network—PALINET), will almost certainly be crucial in identifying opportunities and providing leadership for innovative and collaborative activities within the research library community. [23]  Similarly, IRLs fill an important niche in the ecology of scholarly research and may require special support, such as technical training and staff development, to help them cope with downsizing and other consequences of financial stress, as well as to help ensure that they are able to serve the needs of scholars who are increasingly reliant on digital resources.

2. Specialized Scholarly Resources

2. Specialized Scholarly Resources

In addition to its support for libraries and archives, a second set of priorities for the Scholarly Communications program is the development of online scholarly resources, particularly primary sources, and related tools that promise to open or advance fields of study in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.  In recent years, program staff have focused on faculty-led projects in a small number of selected fields: classics, Near Eastern studies, medieval studies, musicology, archaeology, art and architectural history, and visual studies.  These projects have typically developed online collections of primary sources, often reproduced from libraries and archives, and have involved collaboration with information and technology specialists.  In the coming years, staff expect to respond to modest requests to add content to these online resources.  However, given the depth and coherence of most of these collections, funding priority in the Scholarly Communications program will shift from building the resources to activities that demonstrate and enhance their scholarly value and that foster aggregation of collections and the development of shared technology platforms in order to enhance sustainability.

The scholarly value of these resources is partly methodological in that they demonstrate new and improved ways of organizing and producing scholarly editions, which are reliable, authoritative presentations of primary source evidence. [24]  Through use of windows, searching, hyperlinks and other affordances, digital technology allows clear and elegant presentation of: variorum editions, which are relatively cumbersome to represent in print; multimedia editions of audio and visual as well as textual evidence; "editions as archives," which include facsimiles of original materials along with edited versions; and "editions of editions," which aggregate previously published editions of primary source materials to produce new and unique views of the evidence. [25]  Moreover, as program staff have learned by supporting examples of each of these edition types, the best and most sophisticated online editing projects also provide value by generating materials that scholars can use as the basis of further analytical and interpretive research.  In addition, with detailed textual commentary in the apparatus and interpretive accompanying material, these editions also constitute significant research products in their own right.

To help advance these various developments, program staff are planning to support a series of workshops on edition-making and the uses of online editions both within and across fields of study.  These discussions will both provide an opportunity for scholars to share and develop best practices and assist the Foundation in the identification of next steps for supporting the development of scholarly resources. Staff expect three areas to emerge as priorities for further funding.  First is the need for tools and facilities to streamline the editionmaking process. [26]  Perhaps most important is the continued development of collaborative editing software for representing, transcribing, marking up, and annotating source materials. [27]  Of growing importance are ways to integrate usefully various kinds of digital reference works, such as dictionaries, thesauri, gazetteers (for place names), and prosopographies (for personal names). [28]

A second priority expected to emerge from the workshops on edition-making is interoperability: how could the scholarly resources and associated tools that are being developed largely in separate projects be better linked into an interconnected network?  Digital projects and tools in a particular academic discipline, or related disciplines, run the risk of being of very limited use if they are not interoperable.  For example, if scholars cannot search across different digital collections of medieval manuscript images and transcriptions, or use the same tools for paleographical analysis of different collections, the digital environment runs the risk of hindering humanities research rather than facilitating it. [29]

Finally, program staff expect to address the need for more effective models of financing the development and maintenance of scholarly resource projects.  Staff will continue to require sustainability plans as an integral part of funding these projects.  However, it is increasingly evident that few scholarly resource projects can sustain themselves on a stand-alone basis beyond a second or third round of Foundation funding.  Shrewder planning is therefore necessary.  Projects should develop and exploit a variety of sustainability options, including mechanisms that leverage, build on, and change existing structures and organizations rather than simply build new ones.  Moreover, as experience with digital resources grows and the requirements of creating and using them become better understood, technology costs should be reduced, in part, by creating and using common software platforms, which would have the added benefit of increased interoperability and ease of use for scholars. [30]  Finally, the feasibility of merging similar projects in closely related academic fields must be explored more fully so that scholarly resources achieve a scale of operation and integration that is more efficient to maintain over time than separately managed projects would be. [31]

3. Dissemination of Research and Publication

3. Dissemination of Research and Publication

A third set of priorities for the Scholarly Communications program is to strengthen the means by which humanistic scholarship is published and disseminated to the widest possible audience.  The Foundation has supported scholarly publication in a number of ways. [32]  Since 2007, the Foundation's Universities and their Presses initiative, which is administered by Scholarly Communications in collaboration with the Research Universities and Humanistic Scholarship program, has enabled presses and their sponsoring universities to work more effectively together to advance the academic agenda of the university and enhance the capacities of the press to disseminate high quality scholarship. [33]  Staff will continue to solicit proposals for this initiative through 2009.

Meanwhile, in the context of a broader discussion about the roles of universities in bringing high quality scholarship to the broadest possible audience, program staff are also seeking other ways to provide assistance. [34]  As Joseph Meisel has written, university presses fill a small but important niche in the ecology of scholarly communications and, with help, have shown themselves to be remarkably adaptable to economic pressures. [35]  Two areas in which staff have identified particular needs for Foundation support are the development of a shared online marketing mechanism for university presses, and a more effective means for them to distribute and deliver electronic books using shared technology platforms.

Another area of growing importance in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities is the dissemination of original data that scholars have collected in the course of their research. [36]  These data are increasingly required to support and validate published results and to allow other scholars to build on them.  In other words, research data are not only evidence of research projects but also scholarly resources for other research.  However, encouraging scholars to contribute their data to common repositories for broader dissemination has been notoriously difficult and the subject of intense experimentation. [37]

In one important experiment in the humanities, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is attempting with Foundation support and in partnership with ARTstor to build an Architectural Resource Archive (ARA).  SAH is inviting members to contribute to ARA digital images of a wide range of buildings and architectural features from around the globe.  SAH envisions that the images from this collective resource—SAHARA—would be linked to publications, such as the society's journal and to new publications, such as scholarly editions and monographs focused on various architectural styles and features.  However, the problem is how to encourage sufficient contributions from scholars to make SAHARA a useful and viable resource. [38]

Among the incentives being offered, ARTstor is making the uploading technology as easy for contributing scholars to use as possible, and visual resource librarians have been recruited to catalog contributed images.  These factors are no doubt important, but a special if not unique incentive that SAH is developing for this project is a peer review process for evaluating data contributions so that scholars are formally allocated credit for their data contributions.  Program staff expect to recommend continuing support for the development of SAHARA and similar projects that explore the importance of peer review as an incentive for scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to contribute their research data to common repositories for wider dissemination. [39]



This document is intended to offer a roadmap for grantmaking by the Scholarly Communications program.  To extend the metaphor, if the program's three primary objectives are destinations, then this roadmap has tried to anticipate which paths are likely to be open and which obstacles are likely to be encountered.  However, it is important to note that the Foundation cannot support all roads taken.

Program staff must be highly selective in the proposals that they invite and recommend to the Mellon Trustees.  They will not be able to fund all projects and initiatives that fall under the rubric of the priorities discussed above, especially in the current economic circumstances, which will generate increased competition for the program’s grant funds.  Moreover, staff will not consider funding for activities that fall outside the strict scope of the program's primary objectives.  Thus, for example, the development of tools or resources that serve primarily pedagogical purposes in higher education or projects aimed at outreach to the general public or to the kindergarten through high school education sector will not be considered.  Because of budgetary constraints, staff also do not expect in the next two years to consider new proposals for endowment grants, or new initiatives that require the establishment of nonprofit organizations.

Finally, even as this roadmap is fixed in print, and the Foundation commits to continuing to support the core aspects of scholarly communications that fundamentally engage universities, libraries, scholars and publishers, program staff recognize the urgent need to remain flexible and ready to explore new avenues as the length and depth of the current recession becomes known, as institutions identify ways in which they can collaborate more effectively, as new models for financing scholarly publication and the dissemination of resources become apparent, and as new and unexpected challenges and opportunities present themselves.



[1] See Harriet Zuckerman and Ronald G. Ehrenberg, "Recent Trends in Funding the Academic Humanities and their Implications," Daedalus (Winter 2009): 124–46.  Return to text.

[2] Museums, of course, are also essential laboratories for humanistic research.  The Scholarly Communications program has sponsored work to help improve the integration of museum, library, and archival cataloging systems with recent grants to Yale University (2004, $409,000) and the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (2007, $145,000).  In addition, Mellon's Museum and Art Conservation program focuses its primary support on research and scholarship at major museums through endowment of senior and midlevel curatorial and conservation positions; postdoctoral fellowships for art historians; and scholarly publication in various forms, including digital.  Return to text.

[3] Judith M. Panitch, Special Collections in ARL Libraries: A Report of the 1998 Survey (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2001).  See also ARL Working Group on Special Collections, Special Collections in ARL Libraries: A Discussion Report (Washington, D.C. Association of Research Libraries, 2009), pp. 17–23, http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/scwg-report.pdfReturn to text.

[4] Carol Mandel, "Hidden Collections: the Elephant in the Closet," RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 5 (Fall 2004): 106.  Return to text.

[5] Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner, "More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing," American Archivist 68 (2005): 208–263.  Return to text.

[6] The Foundation has supported the development, testing, and application of collection appraisal methods at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (2000), the University of Virginia (2002), Columbia University (2005), New York University (2005); the WGBH Educational Foundation Inc. (2006), and the University of Chicago (2008), with support totaling $2.248 million.  Return to text.

[7] The Foundation has supported the development of the open source Archivists' Toolkit software application at the University of California at San Diego ($1.804 million in 2004 and 2006).  The Archon Web-based tool for archival description received a Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration from the Foundation's Research in Information Technology (RIT) program ($100,000 to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008).  Return to text.

[8] Cataloging projects involving graduate students were funded at the University of Chicago ($666,000 in 2006), and in 2007 at Columbia University ($563,000), Johns Hopkins University ($476,000), and the University of California at Los Angeles ($143,000).  A collaborative initiative between the Huntington Library and the University of Southern California was funded in 2008 ($700,000).  Return to text.

[9] Many innovative appraisal and cataloging projects, including those funded by the Foundation, were presented and discussed at the Foundation-funded conference, "Something New for Something Old: Innovative Approaches to Managing Archives and Special Collections," December 4–5 2008, organized by the Philadelphia Area Consortium for Special Collections Libraries: http://www.pacsclsurvey.org/snso.htmReturn to text.

[10] Details of the CLIR program can be found at http://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/index.htmlReturn to text.

[11] Staff are no longer inviting proposals for cataloging projects from institutions within the US and are referring to CLIR all inquiries from US institutions regarding possible cataloging support.  Staff recognize, however, the continued need for direct Foundation support of the description of hidden collections of international significance in libraries and archives abroad.  Staff do expect to recommend to the Foundation's Trustees the funding of carefully selected cataloging projects at foreign institutions.  The criteria for the recommendation of such projects are the following: the hidden collection to be cataloged must have international scholarly significance; the institution must commit to making catalog records available online via their own catalogs and Web sites, and through relevant union and subject catalogs; and must use cost-effective methods of processing or cataloging, similar to those required by CLIR.  Return to text.

[12] For a recent overview of key issues in institutional repository use and development, see Sarah L. Shreeves and Melissa H. Cragin, eds., "Institutional Repositories: Current State and Future," Library Trends 57 (Fall 2008).  The Foundation has supported the development of repository infrastructure in the form of Dspace ($515,000 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000 and 2002) and Fedora ($2.914 million to University of Virginia and Cornell University from 2001 to 2007).  Return to text.

[13] In 2000, the Foundation awarded seven planning grants totaling $1.33 million to launch the Mellon Electronic Journal Archiving Initiative.  This initiative resulted in the development of Portico ($4.385 million to Ithaka Harbors, Inc. from 2002–2005) and LOCKSS ($2 million to Stanford University in 2002 and 2003).  There are also many other initiatives that have been crucial in developing capacity for digital preservation, including the SUN-PASIG group (https://lib.stanford.edu/pasig), which provides a forum for not-for-profit and commercial organizations to discuss and share digital preservation strategies, and the European PLANETS (http://www.planets-project.eu) and DRAMBORA (http://www.repositoryaudit.eu) projects.  Return to text.

[14] The infrastructure needed for the preservation and management of personal digital collections is likely to require detailed collaborations between non-profit organizations and corporations.  Sun Microsystems for example has been collaborating with Fedora Commons to provide the hardware and software needed for long-term preservation and management of digital content [http://www.fedora-commons.org/pdfs/Fedora_Commons_Sun_Solution_Brief.pdf].  Fedora Commons and the Dspace Foundation are now embarking collaboratively on a new project, with a planning phase funded by the Foundation’s Research in Information Technology (RIT) program, to provide services to academic and cultural institutions that would allow them to take advantage of 'cloud' storage capacity provided by large corporations such as Amazon.  Return to text.

[15] Margaret Hedstrom was among the pioneers investigating these questions.  See, for example, her article on "Understanding electronic incunabula: a framework for research on electronic records."  American Archivist 54 (Summer 1991): 334–354.  Return to text.

[16] For more on the grant to Oxford, see p. 23 of the Annual Report.  For other important work on the problem of building research collections of personal "digital papers," see, for example, Neil Beagrie, "Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Digital Libraries and Collections," D-Lib Magazine 11 (June 2005), http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june05/beagrie/06beagrie.html; and the Digital Lives project at the British Library: [http://www.bl.uk/digital-lives].  Return to text.

[17] Warren G. Kruse and Jay G. Heiser, Computer Forensics: Incident Response Essentials (Boston, Addison-Wesley, 2002), p. 2.  For pioneering work on the application of digital forensics procedures to the management of research collections of personal digital "papers," see: Jeremy Leighton John, "Adapting existing technologies for digitally archiving personal lives: Digital Forensics, Ancestral Computing, and Evolutionary Perspectives and Tools," in iPres 2008, http://www.bl.uk/ipres2008/presentations_day1/09_John.pdf; Matthew Kirschenbaum, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (Cambridge, MIT Press, 2008); and Simson Garfinkel and David Cox, "Finding and Archiving the Internet Footprint," presented at the First Digital Lives Research Conference:Personal Digital Archives for the 21st Century, London, England, February 9–11, 2009, http://simson.net/clips/academic/2009.BL.InternetFootprint.pdfReturn to text.

[18] The Internet Archive, founded in 1996, is a nonprofit organization that was founded to build an Internet library, to preserve and give access to researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.  The organization received from the RIT program a Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration ($50,000 in 2006) and a grant for a collaborative project with the developers of the Web-based research tool Zotero ($667,000 in 2007).  Return to text.

[19] The grant to the Rochester Institute of Technology Image Permanence Institute ($750,000 in 2005) supports work on the stability of various media, including paper.  The British Library received funds ($716,000 in 2004 and 2005) to support planning and implementation of several research projects, including a controlled, comparative study of the current condition of identical books in six national deposit libraries.  The grant to Johns Hopkins University ($792,000) was made in 2008.  The Scholarly Communications program's support of conservation is separate from the work of the Foundation's Museum and Art Conservation program, which has, over the past decade, provided significant funding to support the establishment of new scientific research positions and departments at several museums; postdoctoral fellowships for outstanding scientists interested in museum careers; senior faculty scientists; curriculum enhancement in graduate level training programs; and inter-institutional collaborative research and teaching projects.  Return to text.

[20] Mike Casey and Bruce Gordon, Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation (Bloomington: Indiana University and Cambridge: Harvard University, 2007), http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/sounddirections/papersPresent/index.shtmlReturn to text.

[21] Recent moving image projects funded by the Scholarly Communications program include: the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library at New York University ($744,000 in 2005), which preserves and makes accessible video of theatrical and cultural performances from throughout the Americas; the EVIADA project at Indiana University ($2.564 million from 2001–2006), a digital archive of ethnomusicological videos from around the world for use by instructors and scholars; and an initiative of the WGBH Educational Foundation ($620,000 in 2007) to develop a system for the delivery of public broadcasting moving image and audio content from its archives to scholars and educators.  Return to text.

[22] Previous grants for this purpose include: New York University ($1.371 million in 2001 and 2005) for the development of a moving image preservation program; National Film Preservation Foundation ($165,000 in 2002) for the development, testing, and publication of reference tools for film preservation; Dance Heritage Coalition, Inc. ($141,000 in 2003) for a pilot study of methods to preserve videotapes of dance performances; Digital Library Federation ($33,025 in 2007) for a survey of moving image collections in the US; Association of Moving Image Archivists ($48,500 in 2008) for the planning of a digital moving image archive.  Return to text.

[23] The Foundation has provided operating support for CLIR ($3.69 million from 2004–2007), and support for CRL to plan for and begin to undertake a reorganization of its services ($1.4875 million in 2008).  Return to text.

[24] For an in-depth discussion, see Donald J. Waters, “Archives, Edition-Making, and the Future of Scholarly Communication” (unpublished).  Versions of this essay were presented at the Forum on Academic Publishing in the Humanities, Cornell University, November 7–8, 2008; the Annual Conference of the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers, Washington, D.C., February 4, 2009; and the Symposium on the Changing Landscape of Scholarly Communication in the Digital Age, Texas A&M University, February 12, 2009.  Return to text.

[25] The Online Chopin Variorum Edition ($413,000 to Royal Holloway College, University of London in 2002 and 2005), The Ethnomusicological Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive ($2.564 million to Indiana University from 2001–2006); The Stalin Archives ($1.3 million to Yale University in 2007), and The Electronic Enlightenment ($2.741 million to the University of Oxford from 2001–2008) are Mellon-funded examples respectively of an online variorum edition, a multimedia "edition as archive," and an "edition of editions."  Return to text.

[26] For an advanced vision of online edition-making, see Greg Crane et al., "Classics in the Million Book Library," Digital Humanities Quarterly (Winter 2009), http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/003/1/000034.htmlReturn to text.

[27] The Mellon Foundation has funded components of edition-making software in a variety of projects including the Online Chopin Variorum Edition at Royal Holloway College, University of London: http://www.ocve.org.uk/index.html); The Edition Production and Presentation Technology project ($50,000 to the University of Kentucky in 2006): http://ebeowulf.uky.edu/; and the Integrating Digital Papyri Project ($1,363,500 to Duke University from 2004–2008): http://papyri.info/Return to text.

[28] An award was made to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy ($327,000 in 2008) to develop a prototype biographical database of figures from the US Founding Era, using evidence from the Founding Fathers editions.  Return to text.

[29] In 2007, the Foundation funded an initiative to demonstrate interoperability between the Parker on the Web and Roman de la Rose manuscript projects ($93,400 to Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities).  In 2008, the Foundation made another series of small grants to support the interoperability of resources in medieval studies.  See p. 24 of the Annual Report.  Return to text.

[30] The RIT Program of the Foundation supports the development of a variety of shared software applications and platforms for the humanities [see http://rit.mellon.org].  The Scholarly Communications program has supported projects that use the software platforms developed with RIT funding.  For example, the Networked Environment for Music Analysis project (http://www.music-ir.org/?q=nema/overview), funded by Scholarly Communications ($1,200,000 to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007) is now using the SEASR platform (http://www.seasr.org/), which was funded by RIT ($1,125,000 to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007).  Return to text.

[31] See Kevin Guthrie, Rebecca Griffiths, and Nancy Maron, Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report, May 2008, http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/sustainability-and-revenue-models-online-academic-resources.  Also see Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, Sustaining the Digital Investment: Issues and Challenges of Economically Sustainable Digital Investment, Interim Report, December 2008, http://brtf.sdsc.edu/biblio/BRTF_Interim_Report.pdfReturn to text.

[32] For a discussion of the Foundation’s recent support of university presses, see Donald J. Waters and Joseph S. Meisel, "Scholarly Publishing Initiatives," in the 2007 Annual Report, pp. 31–45, http://www.mellon.org/about/annual-reports/2007-scholarly-publishing-initiatives/).  In addition to the Universities and their Presses initiative, Scholarly Communications has also worked with the Research Universities and Humanistic Scholarship program on the Monographs Initiative, which is designed to help presses collaboratively build capacity for monograph publication in under-represented academic fields.  Return to text.

[33] Awards made as part of this initiative in 2007 were: to develop a new set of interdisciplinary centers ($672,000 to the University of Minnesota); to bolster a strategic plan in the arts and sciences to link certain critical social, scientific, and intellectual issues under the rubric of "cross-cultural contacts" ($750,000 to the University of Pennsylvania); to facilitate the more effective integration of archives, departments, institutes, and centers that contribute to the study of the "long civil rights movement" ($937,000 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).  In 2008 an award was made to enrich programs in African Studies and performance studies with an expanded publication output in these fields ($818,000 to Northwestern University).  Return to text.

[34] See Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, The University's Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship—A Call to Action, February 2009, http://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/disseminating-research-feb09.pdf; and Laura Brown, Rebecca Griffiths, and Matthew Rascoff, University Publishing in a Digital Age, 2007, http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/university-publishing-digital-age.  See also the results of the ongoing Mellon funded research at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley on the issues posed for universities by the emergence of new forms of publication and scholarly communications (http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication/index.htm).  Return to text.

[35] See Joseph S. Meisel, "American University Presses Observed, 1929–1979" (unpublished).  An abbreviated version of this paper was presented at the Forum on Academic Publishing in the Humanities, Cornell University, November 7–8, 2008.  Return to text.

[36] There is much work underway on the policies and mechanisms of preserving and disseminating data especially in the sciences.  For two recent publications, see The US Interagency Working Group on Digital Data, Harnessing the Power of Digital Data for Science and Society, Report to the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council, January 2009, http://www.nitrd.gov/about/Harnessing_Power_Web.pdf; and The UK Digital Curation Center and the Joint Information Systems Committee, Infrastructure Planning and Data Curation: A Comparative Study of International Approaches to Enabling the Sharing of Research Data, November 2008, http://www.dcc.ac.uk/docs/publications/reports/Data_Sharing_Report.pdfReturn to text.

[37] See, for example, Carole Palmer, et al., Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development-Final Report (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008), https://www.ideals.uiuc.edu/handle/2142/8981.  See also Ronald C. Jantz and Myoung C. Wilson, "Institutional Repositories: Faculty Deposits, Marketing, and the Reform of Scholarly Communication," The Journal of Academic Librarianship 34 (May 2008): 186–195.  Return to text.

[38] SAH has received $3.254 million from 2006–2008 for the development of SAHARA, and the electronic version of the Journal of the Society of Architectural HistoriansReturn to text.

[39] Archaeologists are also developing a data repository with Foundation support and is planning to explore the effect of peer review as an incentive for scholars to contribute ($152,000 to the University of Arkansas in 2007, and $1.294 million to Arizona State University in 2008).  Return to text.