The Gutenberg-e Program: Background
Report on the Eighth Year
(January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006)
Date: January 14, 2007
To: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
From: Robert B. Townsend, Assistant Director
RE: Gutenberg-e annual report for 2006
As the program finishes its penultimate year, we excitedly feel we can report some significant progress. As the summary of the work below reflects, more than half of the project’s thirty-six manuscripts are now completed and published online.
Over the past twelve months six new electronic monographs have been published. These publications reflect a diverse array of approaches and uses of the media, and begin to fully demonstrate the range of opportunities for scholarship in the digital medium.
Publication of New Titles
The Gutenberg-e Project made excellent progress this past year. Columbia published six new titles, and currently has five more in production, scheduled to be published by February 2007. By that date there will be 23 titles published on the Gutenberg-e site leaving 13 more to be completed. The last group of authors is scheduled to deliver their manuscripts in a regular flow starting in January 2007, with the last one due July 1, 2007. This schedule will allow us to complete publication of all remaining titles by December 31, 2007.
I am including below a list of authors, titles, and publication or manuscript delivery dates for the remaining Gutenberg-e titles:
Published in 2006
Joshua Greenberg: Advocating the Man: Masculinity, Organized Labor, and the Household in New York, 1800-1840.
John Haddad: The Romance of China: Excursions to China in U.S. Culture: 1778-1876
Willeen Keough: The Slender Thread: Irish Women on the Southern Avalon, 1750-1860.
Sarah Lowengard: The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe.
William McLehose: “A Tender Age”: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries.
Helena Pohlandt-McCormick: “I Saw a Nightmare…” Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976.
1. Tonio Andrade: How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century (to be published by January, 07)
2. Sarah Gordon: Make it Yourself: Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture, 1890-1930. (Manuscript delivered. To be published February 07).
3. Timothy Hodgdon: Manhood in the Age of Aquarius: Masculinity in Two Counter-Cultural Communities, 1965-1983. (Copyediting completed, going into design and production. To be published January, 07).
4. Kenneth Steuer: Pursuit of an ‘Unparalleled Opportunity’: The American YMCA and Prisoner of War Diplomacy among the Central Power Nations during World War I, 1914–1923. (Awaiting author review of final copyediting. To be published February 07).
5. Maria Rentetzi: Gender, Politics, and Radioactivity Research in Vienna, 1910-1938. (Awaiting author review of final copyediting. To be published February 07).
To Be Delivered (promised delivery date in italics)
6. Sherry Fields: “Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico” January 15, 2007
7. Rhonda Gonzales: “Continuity and Change: Thought, Belief, and Practice in the History of the Ruvu Peoples of Central East Tanzania” March 15, 2007
8. Shah Mahmood Hanifi: “Inter-Regional Trade and Colonial State Formation in Nineteenth Century Afghanistan” July 1, 2007
9. Robert Kirkbride: “Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro” January 15, 2007
10. Daniella Kostroun: “Undermining Obedience in Absolutist France: The Case of The Port Royal Nuns, 1609-1709” May 30, 2007
11. Jennifer Langdon-Teclaw: “Caught in the Crossfire: Anti-Fascism, Anti-Communism, and the Politics of Americanism in the Hollywood Career of Adrian Scott” December 21, 2006
12. Erika Lindgren: “Environment and Spirituality of German Dominican Women, 1230-1370” March 15, 2007
13. Jeri McIntosh: “Sovereign Princesses: Mary and Elizabeth Tudor as Heads of Princely Households” March 15, 2007
14. Laura Mitchell: “Contested Terrains: Property and Labor on the Cedarberg Frontier, 1725-1830” February 28, 2007
15. Ann Pfau: “Miss Yourlovin: Women in the Culture of American WWII Soldiers” March 1, 2007
16. Margaret Poulos: “Arms and the Woman: Just Warriors and Greek Feminist Identity” April 15, 07
17. Kirsten Rambo: “Trivial Complaint: The Role of Privacy in Domestic Violence Law and Activism in the U.S.” January 31, 2007
18. Bin Yang: “Between Winds and Clouds: The Making of Yunnan”
January 31, 2007
We are particularly pleased with the publication of Helena Pohlandt-McCormack’s “I Saw a Nightmare…” Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976 and Sarah Lowengard’s The Creation of Color in the Nineteenth Century. Each takes advantage of the electronic medium to advance her argument in different ways. Helena Pohlandt-McCormack’s essay blends the complexities and violence of the events, with an incredibly rich and deep archive of visual materials from the uprising. Sarah Lowengard’s essay, on the other hand is able to provide added depth and understanding to her very visual subject. The online medium allows her to use a variety of different media to support her analysis of color, including videos and a wide array of images.
Promoting the Project
To provide a boost to all the new books coming out, the publications staff at the AHA and the advertising staffs at Columbia have been coordinating a number of free ads for the books in every publication and catalog we produce, and through a variety of “free media” such as the AHA web site and blog.
We continue to target individual historians and generate some attention and sales, while the Press targets libraries with its marketing efforts. With the recent surge in the number of new titles available, this should prove a real test of whether these books can find an adequate niche or not.
The May issue of the Association’s newsmagazine Perspectives will feature a special issue on “The Changing Information Landscape for History.” Among other articles on this broad topic, it will feature an article by Elizabeth Fairhead, research associate on this project for the past two years, discussing the authors’ feelings about the effects of the prize and electronic publication on their professional development.
We were also fortunate to draw the attention of the Chronicle of Higher Education this year, which featured the project in “Gutenberg-e Lets Historians Present Research in Nontraditional Ways” (July 7, 2006). This in turn led to further attention for the program in the new MLA Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion, which cited this as an example of the kind of proactive effort they hope to encourage.
As the attached statement of expenses shows, we lagged behind the projections for this year largely as a result of authors postponing the submission of manuscripts into the 2007 calendar year, and one author who submitted a manuscript but has not provided a current mailing address. Although we had projected disbursing $100,000 in fellowship funds in 2006, only $20,000 were actually distributed.
All other expenses came in very close to projections. The costs associated with our last authors’ workshop at Columbia were $16,810. Editorial expenses from Columbia University Press have come in at $29,773. Expenses on permissions fees followed the pace of manuscripts in production, which only came in at $2,673 for 2006. The only remaining expense, AHA overhead, is incomplete, as this can only be calculated by our auditor at the end of the current fiscal year (after June 30).
The attached spreadsheet reflects the shift of some fellowship and permissions expenses into 2007. All other projected expenses remain in line with the numbers projected in our last annual report.
Future of the Project
As agreed in our discussions this past January, on March 31, 2008 the Association will write its final report to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The authors have been notified of this date, and told that if they have not completed their manuscripts and received all of their funds, they will lose them.
The other question about whether and in what form the project will continue beyond the current grant-funding from the Foundation remains unanswered. For the moment, we continue to describe the competitions as “suspended” while we discuss the future of the project with our partners at Columbia. For the moment, we have agreed that it would be best to leave the issue in abeyance for the time being, since the recent flurry of activity seems to provide the first real test of whether this project can generate substantial public interest, and a modicum of revenue to sustain the project at a more modest level. That means, though, that we could not set up another competition until after the final report to the Foundation in 2008 at the earliest.
Last Updated: March 7, 2008