JHU Press celebrates International Open Access Week by publishing 100 OA books

"Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions” makes seminal works by
A. O. Lovejoy, George Boas, Hayden White, and others available online for free

Johns Hopkins University Press is marking International Open Access Week (October 21-27) with the release of one hundred newly digitized open access books, including many seminal works by distinguished scholars that have been unavailable in recent years.  The works are accessible for free through Project MUSE, the massive online collection of scholarship based at Johns Hopkins which now offers opportunities for publishers to host free and open access content. 

The release represents the halfway point in an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities called “Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions” which will create open access digital editions as well as print-on-demand paperback editions of more than 200 titles drawn from the Press’s backlist of noteworthy but currently out-of-print titles.  A full list is available on the Press’s open access resource page.

“We are thrilled that these first one hundred books are now available again to readers around the world,” said JHU Press director Barbara Kline Pope. “The opportunity to make this important work open and accessible for free is a significant extension of our mission to deliver scholarship to readers everywhere. We are grateful to Mellon, the NEH, and to our OA team across JHUP.”

Led by editorial director Greg Britton, the Press’s “Encore Editions” OA project has been a significant undertaking developed in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and funded by a $200,000 Mellon/NEH Humanities Open Book Program grant in 2018. Editors at the Press worked closely with collections specialists at the Sheridan Libraries to review thousands of out-of-print works that have been difficult or impossible to access. Once titles were selected, JHU Press staff member Will Krause worked to clear publishing rights with authors or their estates and to orchestrate the process of digitizing and relaunching the books. Other staff members have assisted with design, production, and plans for marketing the new editions.

The Encore Editions include works in American and European history, literary studies, and philosophy, and represent some of the most intellectually and academically consequential scholarship published by Hopkins Press.  Highlights include the following (hyperlinked titles are currently available as OA editions; others will be available by early 2020):

Several works by A. O. Lovejoy, the Hopkins intellectual historian and philosopher who founded the field of History of Ideas: Essays in the History of Ideas; The Thirteen Pragmatisms; and The Reason, the Understanding, and the Time.

A ground-breaking study of American consumer society by Regina Blaszczyk, the former cultural history curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, based on extensive research in previously untapped corporate archives: Imagining Consumers.

Pulitzer-prize winning historian Jack Rakove’s reappraisal of the politics of the Revolutionary period: The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress.

Deborah Kaplan’s influential study of 19th-century women’s culture that promoted female authority and achievement: Jane Austen Among Women.

A collection of essays concerned with history in critical discourse by Hayden White, whose book Metahistory is a flagship text on historiography:  Figural Realism: Studies in the Mimesis Effect.

Alison Patrick’s re-framing of conventional views of the tumultuous French National Convention of 1792: The Men of the First French Republic.

“As a leading publisher of scholarly books by extraordinarily distinguished authors, we are excited about a new publishing model that allows these works to re-enter important conversations that have evolved significantly since the time the books were originally published,” noted Greg Britton.

The Encore Editions from JHU Press join a growing collection of open access and free content available from a variety of non-profit publishers on Project MUSE.  A 2016 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allowed MUSE to launch a new platform capable of delivering OA content in a highly-discoverable and adaptable format using user-friendly HTML5 rather than static PDFs, a major step forward in OA publishing in the humanities.

Project MUSE currently hosts more than 1,200 OA books and anticipates that number will continue to increase, with new titles funded through initiatives including the Humanities Open Book program, Knowledge Unlatched, TOME, Mellon grants, and other publisher- and institution-driven programs. Open access content on MUSE is fully integrated and supported alongside the more than 500,000 journal articles and 1,000,000 book chapters also on the platform.