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News from the Field

Folger Library launches British Book Illustrations project

A National Endowment for the Humanities grant has enabled the Folger Shakespeare Library to expand access to its collections by digitizing and indexing more than 10,000 book illustrations from the 17th century. The project builds upon the work of Ruth Samson Luborsky and Elizabeth Morley Ingram’s Guide to English Illustrated Books, 1536-1603, which indexed 5,000 images. With the British Book Illustrations project, the Folger set out to digitize and index approximately 6,700 illustrations from the remaining part of the STC period (1604–1640) and approximately 3,300 illustrations from books renowned for their illustrations from the Wing period (1641–1700). The images are indexed with the Iconclass classification system for art and iconography. The Folger’s images and their Iconclass notation are also available in Brill’s Arkyves subscription database at https://www.arkyves.org/. More information on the project is available at https://britishbookillustrations.folger.edu/.

Pennsylvania Civil War Deserters Database now available

After years of development, Penn State University Libraries, in partnership with the Richards Civil War Era Center, has launched the Pennsylvania Civil War Deserters Database. Containing more than 24,000 individual records of soldiers, the interactive database allows users to search the compiled records for individual soldiers by name, but also identify groups of soldiers by specific criteria, such as blacksmiths who deserted or number of desertions following the Battle of Gettysburg. The database, a digitized copy of an original 1866 roster of Pennsylvania’s Civil War deserters, titled “The Descriptive List of Deserters, Supplied by the U.S.” and compiled by the Provost Marshal General’s Office at the request of the Pennsylvania legislature, represents a powerful untapped resource for researchers and students, specifically for Civil War and military historians, and genealogists. More information is available at https://desertersroster.psu.edu/site/searchtips/.

2019 ACRL Academic Library Impact Research Grant recipients

ACRL is pleased to announce the recipients of its Academic Library Impact Research Grants in 2019. These grants of up to $3,000 each support new research on library contributions to student learning and success in areas suggested by the 2017 report “Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research.”

The selection committee from ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee chose seven proposals from a highly competitive round of applications. The grant recipients are Deb Baker (Manchester Community College); Ted Chodock (College of Southern Nevada); Jeffrey Delgado and Reabeka King-Reilly (Kingsborough Community College-CUNY); Yi Ding, Elizabeth Cheney, and Laura Wimberley (California State University-Northridge); Amanda MacDonald, Anne Brown, and Keri Swaby (Virginia Tech); and Amanda Ziegler (Northcentral University). ACRL is happy to support this new research and looks forward to working with these researchers as their projects develop. Complete details on recipient projects are on ACRL Insider at www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/archives/17828.

LYRASIS announces 2019 Catalyst Fund Recipients

LYRASIS recently announced the 2019 recipients of the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund is designed to foster innovation leading to new services and programs among members and knowledge communities worldwide. This year, five programs will be seed funded for the benefit of the community at large. Four projects were chosen by participants in the LYRASIS Leaders Circle, and one was chosen by LYRASIS’s CEO. A total of $126,370 will be awarded. Awards for 2019 went to the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, the King County Library System (Washington), Florida International University, the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, and the University of Michigan.

Complete details on 2019 recipients is available at https://lyrasisnow.org/press-release-lyrasis-announces-the-2019-catalyst-fund-recipients-and-their-projects/.

GPO, OFR expand The Public Papers of the Presidents

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register have digitized volumes of the Public Papers of the Presidents for Presidents Herbert Hoover (1929) through George H. W. Bush (1990), with the exception of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency. The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series. Each volume of the Public Papers of the Presidents is comprised of a forward by the President, public writings, addresses, remarks, and photographs. This digitization effort joined the already digital version of Public Papers for Presidents George H. W. Bush (1991−92), William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama. The Public Papers of the Presidents is currently published twice a year and cover a six-month period. They may be accessed for free on GPO’s govinfo, the one-stop site to authentic, published government information at www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/PPP.

SPARC launches Big Deal Knowledge Base

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) recently launched a new resource to provide additional data on “Big Deal” pricing, contracts, and negotiations, and to reduce the information asymmetry that typically plagues vendor negotiations. Developed in collaboration with SPARC member libraries, the Big Deal Knowledge Base contains thousands of pricing details from library Big Deals that can be downloaded and searched across a number of dimensions, including publisher, Carnegie classification, and FTE counts.

It also contains unredacted license agreements, thoughts on pushing back against confidentiality clauses and nondisclosure agreements, guidance on filing Freedom of Information requests to surface more licensing terms, and insights into how libraries have successfully navigated the Big Deal cancellation process. This new resource complements SPARC’s popular Big Deal Cancellation Tracker. The Big Deal Knowledge Base is available at https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-knowledge-base/.

Mind the Gap reports state of open-source publishing software

The MIT Press has released “Mind the Gap: A Landscape Analysis of Open Source Publishing Tools and Platforms,” a report on the current state of all available open-source software for publishing. Funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “Mind the Gap” “shed[s] light on the development and deployment of open-source publishing technologies in order to aid institutions’ and individuals’ decision-making and project planning.”

The report authors, led by John Maxwell, associate professor and director of the Publishing Program at Simon Fraser University, catalog 52 open-source online publishing platforms, i.e., production and hosting systems for scholarly books and journals that meet the survey criteria of “available, documented open-source software relevant to scholarly publishing” and in active development.

This research provides the foundation for a thorough analysis of the open publishing ecosystem and the availability, affordances, and current limitations of these platforms and tools. The community is invited to read, comment, and annotate “Mind the Gap” on the PubPub platform at http://mindthegap.pubpub.org.

Project MUSE announces free access to gun violence scholarship

Project MUSE is providing free access to more than a dozen journal articles and books focused on understanding and preventing gun violence. The goal is to encourage the broadest possible engagement with current research and expertise on the topic as the latest round of gun policy debates and discussions continue in the wake of shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio. The material was selected by the Project MUSE staff in consultation with publishers to provide a broad range of perspectives and expertise relevant to the policy debates that are inevitably renewed with each new incident of gun violence.

The collection, called “MUSE in Focus: Addressing Gun Violence,” is available at http://bit.ly/MUSEinFocus-Gun-ViolenceEMMA.

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