National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation Announce Grants to Digitize Essential Humanities Books

April 9, 2018 — Today the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest funder of the humanities in the United States, announced seven grants, totaling more than $1 million, to convert important out-of-print humanities texts into freely available ebooks.

The third round of funding for the Humanities Open Book Program, offered jointly by NEH and Mellon, will make awards to publishers that have identified significant scholarly books that enhance public knowledge of topics such as American and European history, philosophy, classics, Asian and Latin American studies, architectural history, and literary criticism. With NEH and Mellon support, publishers will digitize these books, secure permission from copyright holders, and release them online for access by public audiences.

“NEH is pleased to join with Mellon in giving a second life to close to a thousand outstanding works of scholarship,” said NEH Senior Deputy Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “The Humanities Open Book Program makes important texts accessible to new audiences by funding twenty-first-century approaches to disseminating humanities research.”

“Scholars, teachers, students, and members of the public all increasingly turn to the Internet as their first stop when looking for information,” added Donald J. Waters, senior program officer for Scholarly Communications at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Each project in this joint initiative promises to bring to their fingertips gems of scholarship that have become difficult to find and read, because they have gone out of print.”

The next deadline for Humanities Open Book proposals will be September 26, 2018. Application guidelines will be available at the NEH website in July.

Cornell University

$92,673

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 25 classic humanities texts from Cornell University Press in the areas of classics, medieval studies, and science education.

Ithaka Harbors

$188,952

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 600 texts originally published by Dirección de Publicaciones El Colegio de México A.C., the scholarly press of the Colegio de México, covering foundational works in Mexican and Latin American studies.

Johns Hopkins   University

$200,000

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 200 classic humanities texts from Johns Hopkins University Press in the areas of American history, European history, literary criticism, and philosophy.

Massachusetts   Institute of Technology

$172,178

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 25–30 humanities texts in architecture and urban studies, with a focus on architectural history, theory, and criticism

Northeastern   University

$58,789

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 18 books by the defunct Northeastern University Press, focusing on humanities titles on the   history of Boston.

University of Hawai’i

$135,890

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 22 humanities books foundational to regional studies in Asia, the Pacific, and Hawai’i. These works contribute to the humanities, particularly in the study of history, anthropology, culture and society, and literature.

University of   Michigan

$199,042

The digitization and creation of freely accessible ebooks for 100 classic humanities texts from the University of Michigan in the areas of Japanese, Chinese, South Asian, and South East Asian studies.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at www.mellon.org.

National Endowment for the Humanities:Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

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For more information, contact

Paula Wasley, NEH, 202-606-8424 pwasley@neh.gov

Laura Washington, Mellon Foundation, 212-500-2554 lw@mellon.org