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ACU receives grant from Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities

By on April 12, 2019 in Academic News, ACU News, ACU Online, Features with 0 Comments

Abilene Christian University has received a $103,000 grant to digitize and distribute 30 outstanding works of scholarship, republishing them in a format that readers can use on computers, tablets and mobile phones at no charge. ACU is one of only seven universities to receive this grant.

This project is part of the Humanities Open Book program led by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that identifies great books, secures their rights, and makes them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license.

Logos for the Mellon Foundation and the NEH“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for advancing an inspiring vision for the 21st century academic library,” said Dr. John B. Weaver, dean of the ACU Library. “This grant will incubate innovation and accelerate open-access publishing for broader access to scholarship.”

“In our increasingly complex and fragmented digital era, scholars, students and members of the public need access to reliable and authoritative information,” said Donald J. Waters, senior program officer at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “The Humanities Open Book initiative helps provide much-needed access to scholarly works that are now out of print but remain crucial, invaluable resources.”

With this grant, ACU Press and the ACU Library will partner with the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (DCHS) to produce freely accessible eBooks.

“Since its earliest days, ACU Press and DCHS have distinguished themselves by their publishing,” said Dr. Jason Fikes, director of ACU Press. “We have organized a team of scholars who will review titles previously published by both of our organizations. Then, this advisory group will make recommendations of which books to digitize.”

The ACU Scholar’s Lab will serve as another important partner overseeing the digital conversion process for the new e-publications. The grant will also enable ACU Press to create a new website to promote this new ACU Press/Disciples of Christ Historical Society collection.

“The digitizing of these significant books will be of great value to numerous researchers,” notes Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion from Pepperdine University, “especially those in distant regions of the world.”

To learn more, view the library’s blog here.

About 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.

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: www.neh.gov.

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