UH Press releases 90 classic books as open-access titles

University of Hawai‘i Press celebrated International Open Access Week (October 21–27) with the announcement of Hawai‘i Open Books—a collection of ninety newly digitized and freely available academic titles from UH Press’s backlist, many of which have been out of print or unavailable for years.

Titles include seminal works of scholarship in Hawaiian, Pacific, and Asian studies, as well as grammars, dictionaries, and other resources for languages from throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The works are accessible from various online platforms, including UH’s institutional repository ScholarSpace, the newly created Hawai‘i Open Books website, JSTOR, and Project MUSE.

Hawai‘i Open Books is the culmination of over two years of work funded by two generous grants totaling $190,000 from the Humanities Open Book program, a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“We are extremely excited about the renewed availability of so many classic UH Press books,” said UH Press interim director Joel Cosseboom. “The Press has long been recognized as a leading publisher in Hawaiian, Pacific, and Asian studies, and this collection of titles represents a significant resource to the university community and students and scholars around the globe.”

Trond Knutsen, principal investigator and digital publishing manager, added, “Open access is becoming an increasingly prominent feature of academic publishing, and we’re thankful to the Mellon Foundation for allowing us to explore this model so thoroughly.”

To revive the ninety books, UH Press’s digital-publishing team, including digital specialist Noah Perales-Estoesta, worked closely with faculty and library staff to identify the books best suited for republication. The team subsequently contacted authors, editors, and others to clear rights, collaborated with the university library on scanning, and liaised with ebook converters to create digital reproductions of the original print copies. Among the titles revived are:

·       Over thirty grammars, dictionaries, and other language resources for Fijian, Tagalog, Carolinian, Cebuano, Marshallese, Bikol, and other languages of the Asia-Pacific region.

·       Ancient Tahitian Society by Douglas L. Oliver: A three-volume ethnography of Tahiti, foundational to the anthropological study of Polynesia.

·       China’s Old Dwellings by Ronald G. Knapp: A heavily illustrated study of domestic architecture from throughout different periods in Chinese history.

·       Da Kine Talk: From Pidgin to Standard English in Hawaii by Elizabeth Ball: A detailed exploration of Hawai‘i’s unique relationship to the English language.

·       The Path of the Ocean: Traditional Poetry of Polynesia edited by Marjorie Sinclair: The first anthology of poetry from throughout Polynesia presented as literature rather than anthropology.

About University of Hawai‘i Press

From its modest beginnings in 1947, University of Hawai‘i Press has grown from a regional operation into one of the most respected publishers of Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific studies titles in the world. Located in historic Mānoa Valley on the island of O‘ahu, UH Press publishes approximately 70 new books and 40 new journal issues annually in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. More than 3,000 UH Press titles are currently in print, and a growing selection of content is being made available online, including open-access publications and digital archives. Additionally, the Press markets and distributes a range of titles from University of Hawai‘i departments, and scholarly and educational institutions around the world.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  To this end, the Foundation supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.