Mellon Foundation, NHPRC Announce Digital Publication Grant Winners

NEW YORK, NY, February 14, 2018 — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) today announced the winners of eight planning grants to build a sustainable system for the digital publication and discovery of historical records. The Digital Edition Publishing Cooperatives Program, first announced as a partnership between the Mellon Foundation and the NHPRC in 2017, will support efforts to make historical records readily accessible to scholars, students, and the American people.

Winners include:

Bucknell University                                                                                                                                                                                                                  REED London: Creating Collaborative Environments for Editorial Publication

Kentucky Historical Society                                                                                                Nineteenth Century Digital Cooperative

Massachusetts Historical Society                                                                                                 A 21st-Century Digital Platform for 19th-Century Analog Content

Stanford University                                                                                                             Modern African American Freedom Struggle Digital Publishing Cooperative

Texas A&M University                                                                                                 ARCScholar: A Digital Publishing Cooperative

University of California Santa Cruz                                                                                            Scholarship in 3D Digital Edition Publishing Cooperative

University of Virginia                                                                                                                University of Virginia Digital Publishing Cooperative: Developing Infrastructures for the Creation, Publication, and Discovery of Digital Scholarly Editions and Projects

Wheaton College                                                                                                                            Digital Edition Publishing Cooperative for Historical Accounts (DEPCHA)

Click here for a description of each team.

Each of the eight project teams receiving funding will design a cooperative infrastructure for publication, including digital repositories and discovery tools. Each cooperative will identify and integrate shared standards, practices, and policies so that the resulting infrastructure fully exploits the synergies among editions and enables them to interact. Project teams also will collaboratively explore ways to operate as a federated system: to build broader connections at the level of technical infrastructure, shared semantics, and cooperative policies. During the proposed planning year, project teams will discuss policies concerning rights and access, common use of linked open data standards, a possible system of shared governance, and a means of sustaining the work.

“Assembling primary source evidence in critical scholarly editions is one of the humanities’ most important contributions to our collective understanding of the world and its people,” said Donald Waters, senior program officer at the Mellon Foundation. “Since the early 1990s, scholars have used the digital medium to present these editions to the public, especially when the relevant evidence is in various formats, including texts, maps, audio, and still and moving images. With support from the eight grants in the Mellon-NHPRC Digital Edition Publishing Cooperatives Program, scholars will be collaborating to find common platforms, tools, procedures, and other economical means to be even more effective in creating and publishing critical editions of vital primary source evidence.”

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said, “At the National Archives, our very mission is to make records accessible.  We are honored to be part of this project and delighted to join with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help make our nation's historical records more widely available to anyone, anywhere, and at no cost.  These cooperatives will explore technologies to revolutionize online historical research."

This is the first of a two-stage process for planning and implementation. During the one-year planning stage, each team will develop a proposal for implementing a Digital Edition Publishing Cooperative. At a second stage, after reviewing the submitted proposals in 2019, the Mellon Foundation and NHPRC anticipate awarding three implementation grants between $350,000 and $500,000, each for up to three years, for a total of up to $1.25 million.


Laura Washington

Keith Donohue