IOPN to Launch New Series for Digital Scholarly Editions

We are pleased to announce plans to launch a new series, under the Windsor & Downs Press imprint, focused on digital scholarly editions of literary works in the public domain. A beta version of the first title in the series will be released for feedback from the scholarly community in 2021, and a CFP for the second title is now available. The editor of the title chosen in response to the CFP will receive two semesters of graduate research assistant support to facilitate work on the edition.

This series builds on the work IOPN has done for the past five years under the Mellon-funded Publishing Without Walls initiative to establish digital publishing infrastructure that will enable greater uses of digital publishing affordances by humanities scholars, without requiring large intensive grants and specialized programming that is often hard to maintain over the long, or even medium, term. That work is summarized in our previous post introducing what we do and why. Editions will be produced primarily on our supported platforms (Scalar, Pressbooks, or Omeka S), although they may embed specialized features such as maps from ArcGIS Online or other sources. Depending on the nature of the editions, a simplified print-on-demand option (that will necessarily lack digital-only affordances) may also be produced for some titles.

In creating this series, we are sensitive to frustrations of editors who have felt their ability to create relatively simple editions has been hindered by a grant-driven culture within digital humanities that prioritizes larger projects with technologically novel needs and solutions. While some digital scholarly editions may require expansive custom solutions, we at IOPN believe that there is a demonstrable need for digital editions that can have an exceptional scholarly impact while adopting more routine publishing workflows and existing platforms.

We hope that our press can help provide a solution to address this need, and welcome proposals from editors who would like to explore the possibility of publishing an edition with us. The current CFP calls for a critical edition of a work that has recently or will shortly enter the public domain in the United States with priority given to texts from underrepresented groups, and in addition to the CFP we welcome other proposals for the series from editors who have projects that do not fit that particular national and period framework.

For more information on the current call for proposals, including principles and criteria for the edition as well as criteria for the selection of the edition, please see our call for proposals. The deadline for consideration is February 15, 2021.

Funding supporting the launch of this series and the research assistant support comes from the University of Illinois Library in partnership with the Department of English.