UH Press awarded $100K to publish open-access books

University of Hawaiʻi
Emily A Benton, (808) 956-4492
Production Editor/Publications Specialist, UH Press
Noah Perales-Estoesta, (808) 956-6279
Development and Digital Projects Specialist, UH Press
Posted: Apr 4, 2018

Twenty-two of UH Press’s out-of-print books are under consideration for open-access publishing.
Twenty-two of UH Press’s out-of-print books are under consideration for open-access publishing.

(HONOLULU, Hawai‘i)—University of Hawai‘i has received a $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the digitization and open-access distribution of 22 out-of-print University of Hawai‘i Press books.

The 18-month project is part of the Humanities Open Book Program, a joint initiative between the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In 2017, UH Press received a $90,000 grant to launch the program at UH Mānoa.

“We are extremely grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for their continued support,” said Trond Knutsen, UH Press digital publishing manager. “Our goal for this project is to expand upon UH Press’s efforts to revive our rich backlist and make scholarly resources available to more readers.”

A team of UH Press and UH Mānoa Library employees recommended texts for the Humanities Open Book Program that are foundational to regional studies in Asia, the Pacific, and Hawai‘i.

Among the books selected are a heavily illustrated, three-volume ethnography of Tahiti, as well as the biography of an important statesman who served the last king of the Hawaiian monarchy.

“Over the years our UH Press has published many books of cultural and historical significance to Hawaiʻi, the Pacific and Asia,” said David Lassner, UH System president and UH Mānoa interim chancellor. “We thank the Mellon Foundation for their assistance in helping us make some of these academic treasures available to the world in online open-access formats.”

The process of making out-of-print titles available in open-access formats is often costly, and requires publishers to clear rights from authors and their estates, research third-party permissions, work with multilingual proofreaders and coordinate with digitization vendors.

“Like most university presses, we operate without an endowment and within narrow margins in order to support the best scholarship,” said Joel Cosseboom, UH Press interim director and publisher. “This generous grant from the Mellon Foundation and the NEH will enable us to give important works from our 70 years of publishing new life in virtual collections.”

At the end of the project, readers will be able to find direct links to open-access works from a new UH Press website, and download the digitized books in EPUB and PDF at no cost. A print-on-demand option will also be offered for select titles.

Founded in 1947 at UH Mānoa, UH Press is a member of the Association of University Presses and the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association.


About UH Press

The University of Hawai‘i Press (www.uhpress.hawaii.edu) supports the mission of the university through the publication of books and journals of exceptional merit. It strives to advance knowledge through the dissemination of scholarship—new information, interpretations, methods of analysis—with a primary focus on Asian, Pacific, Hawaiian, Asian American and global studies. It also serves the public interest by providing high-quality books and resource materials of educational value on topics related to Hawai‘i’s people, culture, and natural environment. Through its publications the Press seeks to stimulate public debate and educate both within and outside the classroom.

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 mellon.org

About the Humanities Open Book Program

The Humanities Open Book Program is designed to make outstanding out-of-print humanities books available to a wide audience. By taking advantage of low-cost “ebook” technology, the program will allow teachers, students, scholars, and the public to read humanities books that have long been out of print.