“HathiTrust, a member-based organization hosted by the University of Michigan, has received a 5-year, $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund a multi-year effort to strengthen its preservation and access mission.
The funding will initially finance three new positions to develop an integrated program of assessment, analytics, and portfolio management for the HathiTrust organization. “With these new capabilities in place, we can better match our resources to high impact work,” says Mike Furlough, Executive Director. “We will be able to grow our team and modernize our tools and processes, and create a more nimble and disciplined organization to meet our community’s strategic needs.”
In March 2020, HathiTrust developed the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), permitting access to digitized materials for hundreds of academic and research libraries and their communities during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. “Emergency services increased demand for access, and confirmed the importance of large scale digitization and long-term digital preservation. From that experience, we learned that over the next several years we need to diversify the ways that libraries and users engage with HathiTrust. I’m grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support, which will allow us to better respond to those needs,” Furlough says….”
“We are thrilled to announce that the Mellon Foundation has awarded the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law a two year, $1 million grant to support Library Futures. This grant is in service of our specialized mission that focuses on identifying, addressing, and tackling issues at the cutting edge of libraries and technology….”
“In January 2023, the University of California libraries launched a landmark research project – Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery) – to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries. The project seeks to analyze all aspects of a digital access program — including user needs, legal frameworks, technical requirements, and collection scope — in designing an expanded service or set of services for UC faculty, staff, and students.”
“The University of California libraries — which comprise the largest university research library in the world — are launching a landmark research project to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries.
The Mellon Foundation is providing $1.1 million support for Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery), a two-year project that the UC Davis Library will lead on behalf of the 10-campus UC system….
The project’s broad investigation aims to extend and strengthen the historical role of academic libraries in making information as broadly accessible as possible for use in research and education. Project teams will:
use focus groups and other methods to understand the needs of UC faculty and students for a range of research, education and clinical care scenarios
evaluate the legal frameworks under which libraries could provide expanded access to digitized books, including those still in copyright
review and analyze existing technology platforms and systems for sharing and interacting with digital books, and explore the possibilities for creating new systems and services
determine the optimal composition of a digital book collection to meet user needs; what digitized collections are currently available or where more digitization efforts may be required; and how best to manage both print and digitized collections.”
“When a high school social studies teacher asked NC Research and Instructional Librarian Sarah Carrier for a comprehensive list of North Carolina’s Jim Crow laws in 2017, Carrier didn’t feel like she had the best answer: “States’ Laws on Race and Color” by Pauli Murray, published in 1951. This left out years of potential legislation — and manually searching through decades of volumes of N.C. General Statutes was no small task. But Carrier really wanted to help this teacher and others who might ask for this information in the future.
Carrier knew an automated solution was needed, so she worked with her library colleagues in Digital Research Services to find one. Enter Amanda Henley, head of Digital Research Services, who engaged more than 30 people — including librarians, library staff, postdoctoral researcher Kimber Thomas and history professor William Sturkey — in a multi-year project using text mining and machine learning to identify racist language in legal documents. To date, they’ve discovered nearly 2,000 Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.
“I think the collaborative nature of this project is one of the reasons why the University Libraries is a good home for it,” says Henley, principal investigator on the project. “Because of where we sit on campus, we know what other people are doing and who has different areas of expertise. We also have a broad range of expertise within the libraries. That’s what allowed us to be so successful.”
In August 2020, the group released the project, called “On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance,” to the public. Users can search through the laws, download their text files and view all of the North Carolina statues from 1866 to 1967.
When the Mellon Foundation heard about On the Books, they contacted Henley about expanding it and have since provided additional funding for her team to do so. For the next two years, they will identify Jim Crow Laws within two additional states and will help research and teaching fellows learn how to use these data within their own projects and schools….”
“Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce an $850,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support its effort to advance racial justice in American archives. This funding will enable DPLA to launch a digital equity project to develop community-based partners and increase partner capacity to lead this work. The three-year project will provide support for underrepresented, under-resourced archives and expand DPLA’s capacity for supporting and partnering with diverse archival projects….”
“The Book Analytics Dashboard Project (2022-2025) is focused on creating a sustainable OA Book focused analytics service. This service is needed to safeguard and support diversity in the voices, perspectives, geographies, topics and languages made visible through OA Books. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Book Analytics Dashboard project is building on an earlier Mellon-funded initiative: Developing a Pilot Data Trust for OA eBook Usage (2020 – 2022). In addition to scaling workflows, infrastructure and customer support, the Demonstration Project is developing a long-term plan for housing, maintenance and funding of the analytics service as a sustainable community infrastructure….”
“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded ITHAKA a new $1.5 million grant to provide incarcerated college students with access to JSTOR, a digital library of journals, books, and other materials. Our aim is for every incarcerated college student in the United States to have access to JSTOR, along with the research skills to use this and other digital resources.
One of the most significant educational challenges that incarcerated college students face is easy, reliable access to high-quality library resources to support their learning. Prisons often do not provide internet access to individuals or offer only limited access to digital resources, sometimes at high cost. This challenge has only grown in the last 12 to 18 months as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up the need for digital learning solutions and higher education became more accessible to incarcerated individuals through financial aid expansions, including Second Chance Pell….”
“Humanities Commons, which is hosted and sustained by Michigan State University and led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters, was awarded a $971,000, 5-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a multi-year restructuring of its business model.
An online open-source platform, Humanities Commons facilitates communication and collaboration among scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world. It enables users to engage in discussions across humanities disciplines and to share articles, presentations, and other scholarly materials with their peers and the public. Members also create online professional profiles to help connect with others and to share their work more broadly. …”
“Michigan State University has received a $650,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue the work being done by the Humane Metrics for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HuMetricsHSS) initiative, an international partnership committed to establishing more humane indicators of excellence in academia with a particular focus on the humanities and social sciences.
The goal of the HuMetricsHSS initiative is to empower people at all levels of academic institutions by identifying core values and aligning reward mechanisms in every area — from grades and funding to promotion and tenure — with those values. …”
“ScienceOpen has partnered with Longleaf Services to provide metadata and promotional services for its Mellon-funded initiative, the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP).
The Sustainable History Monograph Pilot is an open access pilot aiming to push academic book publishing to the open model. Longleaf Services works with university presses to publish open digital editions of high-quality books in the field of history. ScienceOpen has indexed the publications from this initiative in the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot featured collection to help spread awareness of the SHMP. To read more about the open access SHMP initiative, go here….”
With a major new grant of $502,400 to NYU from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NYU Division of Libraries and its project partners will deepen their exploration and analysis of digital preservation methods and the extent to which they can preserve complex scholarly publications. The goal is to support publishers in making design choices that result in publications, including very complex ones, that can be preserved at scale without sacrificing functionality.
The three-year project, Embedding Preservability, will be conducted by the NYU Libraries’ Digital Library Technology Services (DLTS) unit and led by Assistant Dean and DLTS Director David Millman. The work follows a recently completed, two-year project, also funded by the Mellon Foundation, in which DLTS, working with digital preservation practitioners and academic presses, developed an extensive set of digital-publishing guidelines for ensuring effective preservability. The Embedding Preservability project will refine, expand, and operationalize these guidelines.
“The Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame have launched Marble (Museum, Archives, Rare Books and Libraries Exploration) — an online teaching and research platform designed to make distinctive cultural heritage collections from across the University accessible through a single portal.
The development of Marble was made possible, in part, by a three-and-one-half-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an open-access, unified software solution that would enable universities to access museum and library holdings through a single online platform….
The code for the Marble project was developed and will be maintained by the Hesburgh Libraries development team. The platform code is openly licensed under an Apache 2.0 license and available on GitHub. Project documentation, technical diagrams, collaborative processes and best practices are published on the Open Science Framework….”
“The once “Million Book Project” embraces a new name: Freedom Reads
It was never about a number — no finite end goal like that. And we always knew it doesn’t take tens of thousands of books to counter what prison does to the spirit; sometimes it just takes one, at the right time, in the right mood, when the urgency for new possibility is enough. So we’re claiming a new name that unmistakably honors our driving recognition of the link between reading and freedom: Freedom Reads. New name, same commitment to supporting with books the efforts of people in prison to deepen and envision their lives in new ways….
More than two million people live in state and federal prisons in this country. They live in facilities characterized by concrete floors and steel cell doors, by handcuffs and homemade shanks. Founded by Reginald Dwayne Betts, who knows firsthand the dispiriting forces of prison, Freedom Reads uses literature as a powerful antidote to the hopelessness incarceration breeds. Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s recognition that freedom begins with a book, Freedom Reads supports the efforts of people in prison to transform their lives through increased access to books, writers and performing artists.”
“Three renowned researchers in digital humanities and computer science are joining forces with the Library of Congress on three inaugural Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud projects, exploring how biblical quotations, photographic styles and “fuzzy searches” reveal more about the collections in the world’s largest Library than first meets the eye.
Supported by a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded in 2019, the initiative combines cutting edge technology with the Library’s vast collections to support digital humanities research at scale. These three outside researchers will collaborate with subject matter experts and technology specialists at the Library of Congress to experiment in pursuit of answers that can only be achieved with collections and data at scale. These collaborations will enable research on questions previously difficult to address due to technical and data constraints. Expanding the skills and knowledge necessary for this work will enable the Library to support emerging methods in cloud-based computing research such as machine learning, computer vision, interactive data visualization, and other areas of digital humanities and computer science research. As a result, the Library and other cultural heritage institutions may build upon or adapt these approaches for their own use in improving access to text and image collections….”