University of Hawaiʻi Press announced Hawaiʻi Open Books, a collection of 90 newly digitized and freely available academic titles from UH Press’s backlist, many of which have been out of print or unavailable for years.
Titles include seminal works of scholarship in Hawaiian, Pacific and Asian studies, as well as grammars, dictionaries and other resources for languages from throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The works are accessible from various online platforms, including UH’s institutional repository ScholarSpace, a newly created Hawaiʻi Open Books website, JSTOR and Project MUSE.
Hawaiʻi Open Books is the culmination of more than two years of work funded by two generous grants totaling $190,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Humanities Open Book program.
“We are extremely excited about the renewed availability of so many classic UH Press books,” said UH Press Interim Director Joel Cosseboom. “The Press has long been recognized as a leading publisher in Hawaiian, Pacific and Asian studies, and this collection of titles represents a significant resource to the university community and students and scholars around the globe.”
Trond Knutsen, principal investigator and digital publishing manager, added, “Open access is becoming an increasingly prominent feature of academic publishing, and we’re thankful to the Mellon Foundation for allowing us to explore this model so thoroughly.”
To revive the 90 books, UH Press’s digital-publishing team worked closely with faculty and library staff to identify the books best suited for republication. The team subsequently contacted authors, editors and others to clear rights, collaborated with the university library on scanning, and liaised with ebook converters to create digital reproductions of the original print copies. Among the titles revived are:
- More than thirty grammars, dictionaries, and other language resources for Fijian, Tagalog, Carolinian, Cebuano, Marshallese, Bikol and other languages of the Asia-Pacific region.
- Ancient Tahitian Society by Douglas L. Oliver: A three-volume ethnography of Tahiti, foundational to the anthropological study of Polynesia.
- China’s Old Dwellings by Ronald G. Knapp: A heavily illustrated study of domestic architecture from throughout different periods in Chinese history.
- Da Kine Talk: From Pidgin to Standard English in Hawaii by Elizabeth Ball: A detailed exploration of Hawaiʻi’s unique relationship to the English language.
- The Path of the Ocean: Traditional Poetry of Polynesia edited by Marjorie Sinclair: The first anthology of poetry from throughout Polynesia presented as literature rather than anthropology.