Six University Presses Get Mellon Grant for Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative

The Alabama Press, University of Arizona Press, the University Press of Colorado, the University Press of Florida, the Texas A&M University Press and the University of Utah Press have received a $282,000 one-year planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative, a digital collection of New World archaeology scholarship.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Together, the institutions will explore ways to deliver data- and illustration-rich digital editions of cutting-edge archaeological research.

The project, the "Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative," will give scholars and professional archaeologists the ability to review supplemental data not often contained in conventionally published volumes.

"This initiative enables each press to break out of the traditional monograph form, in which it is often financially impossible to offer digital resources alongside the book," said Kathryn Conrad, interim director of the UA Press. . . .

The books produced as part of this initiative will be enhanced by large data sets, color illustrations, video components, three-dimensional, rotatable images, and in some cases, interactive components such as reader commenting. . . .

If the program reaches full implementation, the presses could potentially create a third-party entity devoted to the creation and maintenance of the digital platform.

The presses also plan to work on a business model for the proposed platform. In addition, the presses plan to develop a prototype digital book, providing a workable platform that could potentially be used by scholarly presses around the world.

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