Abilene Christian University received a $103,000 grant to digitize and distribute thirty outstanding works of scholarship, republishing them in a format that readers can use on computers, tablets, and mobile phones at no charge.

The project is part of the Humanities Open Book program led by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that identifies great books, secures their rights, and makes them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license.

“We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the NEH for advancing an inspiring vision for the twenty-first century academic library,” said Dr. John B. Weaver, Dean of the ACU Library. “This grant will incubate innovation and accelerate open-access publishing for broader access to scholarship.”

“In our increasingly complex and fragmented digital era, scholars, students, and members of the public need access to reliable and authoritative information,” said Donald J. Waters, senior program officer at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “The Humanities Open Book initiative helps provide much-needed access to scholarly works that are now out-of-print but remain crucial, invaluable resources.”

With this grant, ACU Press and ACU Brown Library will partner with the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (DCHS) to produce freely accessible eBooks.

“Since its earliest days, ACU Press and DCHS have distinguished themselves by their publishing,” said Dr. Jason Fikes, Director of ACU Press. “We have organized a team of scholars who will review titles previously published by both of our organizations. Then, this advisory group will make recommendations of which books to digitize.”

The ACU Scholar’s Lab will serve as another important partner overseeing the digital conversion process for the new e-publications. The grant will also enable the Press to create a new website to promote this new ACU Press/Disciples of Christ Historical Society collection.  “The digitizing of these significant books will be of great value to numerous researchers,” notes Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion from Pepperdine University, “especially those in distant regions of the world.”