Bringing books back to life: NEH, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award $95,000 grant to UNT Libraries

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 22:29
A scan of the cover of the
A scan of the cover of the "History of the Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War," one of 146 book the UNT Libraries is turning into e-books as part of a $95,599 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas Libraries is working to bring more than 100 out-of-print books back to life. Thanks to a $95,599 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor under the new Humanities Open Book Program, the UNT Libraries will digitize 146 books and make those available for free as e-books.

"UNT is a well-established player in digital libraries and publishing," said Kevin Hawkins, an assistant dean at UNT and lead for the project. "This grant funds work to make resources of interest to scholars and the public more broadly available. Making knowledge more accessible is the core mission of libraries and university presses."

The program, in which the NEH is partnering with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has awarded more than $700,000 to identify great out-of-print works in fields of the humanities and turn those into electronic books that can be downloaded and redistributed according to a Creative Commons license.

Nearly all of the books UNT will digitize are related to the history of Texas and Oklahoma and will give a new generation of scholars, teachers, students and communities access to knowledge no longer in wide circulation.

"These are historic pieces of literature that hold tremendous value for understanding the periods in which they were published," said Hawkins.

Among these titles are:

Once complete, the e-books will be available for download via UNT's Portal to Texas History or the Gateway to Oklahoma History, both of which are run by the UNT Libraries. The UNT Libraries are completing the project in partnership with the UNT Press, the Texas State Historical Association and the Oklahoma Historical Society.

About the 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:

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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