Cornell University Press Receives NEH Grant for Open Access E-Book Initiative


ITHACA, NY, Dec. 17 — Cornell University Press is proud to announce it is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant worth $83,635. The grant will enable the Press to make classic out-of-print books available electronically and free of charge to teachers, students, scholars, and interested readers around the globe. The grant is one of the first in the NEH’s new Humanities Open Book Program, jointly sponsored by the NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and part of nearly $2.5 million in NEH grants that are being awarded to projects in New York State this year.

“As America’s first university press we are extremely honored to receive this generous grant from the NEH and expand our role as a leader in open access scholarship,” said Cornell University Press Director Dean Smith. “Our close collaboration with the Cornell University Library and noted scholars in the field ensured that the Cornell books chosen for this project are ones that will truly make a significant global impact in each of their respective fields—literary criticism and theory, Slavic studies, and German studies.” 

“The National Endowment for the Humanities is pleased to join with the Mellon Foundation in announcing the first round of Humanities Open Book grants,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “These ten projects will put important out-of-print books into the hands of the public, widening access to the ideas and information they contain, and inspiring readers, teachers, and students to use them in exciting new ways.”

“The NEH project builds on a successful six-year collaboration among the Library, the Press, and Cornell scholars on book publishing in the Signale program, which also includes an open access component four years after publication,” said Kizer Walker, Director of Collections for Cornell University Library. “Signale publishes new English-language scholarship on the literature, culture, criticism, and intellectual history of the German-speaking world and several of the titles that will be opened up with NEH support will closely complement our Signale books.”

Oya Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Preservation Services at Cornell University Library, added, “We are delighted to hear the news and look forward to partnering with the Press in exploring how to turn outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities into freely accessible e-books. This new program will be instrumental in expanding the reach of terrific books written by scholars throughout the years.”

NEH’s official announcement on the Humanities Open Book Program is available here:

Cornell University Press Receives NEH Grant for Open Access E-Book Initiative