The University of Virginia, as led by the Center for Digital Editing (CDE) and the University of Virginia Press (UVA Press), will create the Virginia Digital Publishing Cooperative thanks to a $100,000 grant made available through the Digital Edition Publishing Cooperative Grant program, a joint initiative created in 2017 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The Virginia cooperative, one of only eight proposals to be accepted by this new funding initiative, will bring together experts from 17 projects and organizations, including John Unsworth, UVA dean of libraries, and Ron Hutchins, UVA vice president for information technology.
Beginning in Jan. 2018, the Virginia Digital Publishing Cooperative will meet monthly to discuss the current challenges of developing and publishing digital scholarly editions and projects. Composed of leaders from various editing projects and multimedia collections as well as technical experts from multiple UVA departments, the team will work together to propose by the end of 2018 an accessible, robust, and sustainable infrastructure for digital publication. The cooperative will include:
- the Papers of George Washington (PGW)
- the Papers of James Madison (PJM)
- the John Dickinson Writings project
- the Papers of James Monroe
- the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen
- the Dolley Madison Digital Edition
- the Washington Family Papers project
- the Founding Women project
- the Papers of Martin Van Buren
- the Papers of Woodrow Wilson
- and the Presidential Recordings program
Currently, there are only a handful of publishing platforms available. Most notable of these is Rotunda, the electronic imprint of UVA Press. Rotunda was created for the publication of original digital scholarship along with newly digitized critical and documentary editions in the humanities and social sciences.
“UVA Press is excited to build on our collaboration with the Center for Digital Editing through an exploration of platforms for the creation of new digital scholarly editions,” said Mark H. Saunders, director of UVA Press. “This planning grant will allow us to test potential strategies for extending the documentary collections produced by our electronic imprint, Rotunda, to include more voices that have often been left out of the historical conversation.”
“This endeavor has the power not only to advance the field of documentary editing but to make digital editing and publishing available to a larger community of projects,” said Jennifer Stertzer, director of the CDE.
The National Historic Publications and Records Commission partnered on this initiative with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to “respond to the urgent need of scholars and documentary editors for reliable, sustainable, authoritative, and field-driven outlets for publication and discovery of digital editions.”