Wayne State University Press logoWayne State University Press is excited to announce our plan to digitize 59 out-of-print titles through a $94,000 grant from a joint project between the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). These titles selected highlight our Jewish and regional studies titles, and will be freely accessible to the public through the websites of the Wayne State University Library System and the Press (wayneopen.org). Titles selected for the project fall into several sub-topics that reflect current programs: industrial and labor history, maritime history, Detroit history and biographies of significant individuals.

The largest funders of humanities research in the United States, the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provided the grant to give a second life to outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities. Under the new Humanities Open Book program, NEH and Mellon awarded grants to publishers to identify great humanities books, secure all appropriate rights, and make them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license.

For centuries, printed books have been the primary written medium for expressing, communicating, and debating ideas in the humanities, which are defined as research and study on topics including history, philosophy, linguistics, and others. However, most scholarly books printed since 1923 are not in the public domain. As a result, today’s scholars, teachers, students, and members of the public do not have access to a significant breadth of knowledge. Modern e-book technology can unlock the potential of these books.