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U H Press bookcovers

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of UH a $90,000 grant to digitize 100 out-of-print University of UH Press books for open access.

The project is part of the Humanities Open Book Program, a joint initiative between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for supporting our open-access initiatives,” said Trond Knutsen, UH Press digital publishing manager. “Now, with the advent of digital technology, these works can become available to a new generation of readers around the world.”

UH Press selected the 100 titles—representing fields such as Asian studies, Pacific studies, linguistics, anthropology, and history—based on their contemporary scholarly relevance, historical significance, and practical value for teaching and research purposes.

“This initiative will be an enormous contribution to the advance of scholarship globally, but particularly for colleagues and students in places in Asia and the Pacific where libraries are inadequate and access to printed scholarly sources is difficult,” said Barbara Watson Andaya, chair of the UH Mānoa Asian studies program.

Revitalizing UH Press’s backlist

Beginning in 2018, the digitized titles will be hosted on a custom open-access portal where readers will be able to download them in EPUB and PDF formats. A print-on-demand option will also be offered for select titles.

“We hope this project will be only the beginning of a long-term effort to revitalize UH Press’s backlist,” said UH System President David Lassner. “This project will magnify the reach and influence of scholarly work done here at the University of Hawaiʻi, and support educational and cultural initiatives in the Asia and Pacific regions.”

UH Press currently offers more than 800 titles online through library e-book vendors, and more than 350 scholarly monographs through Hawaiʻi Scholarship Online, a partnership with Oxford University Press and University Press Scholarship Online.

“As stewards of scholarship, we find it important to keep our books widely accessible,” said Joel Cosseboom, UH Press interim director and publisher. “This grant will move us forward in disseminating knowledge while also highlighting our incredible backlist, which includes some of the best research among university presses.”

UH Press, which is celebrating 70 years of publishing, is a member of the Association of American University Presses and the Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association.

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

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