Thursday, July 15, 2010

Digital Project of the Medieval Academy of America

The Medieval Academy of America reports a retrospective digitization project of its publications:
The National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Research Programs, has awarded the Academy $120,000 to support “Retrospective Digital Editions of Print Editions Published by The Medieval Academy of America, 1925–2001.” The two-year grant will make it possible for the Academy to digitize thirty-eight editions published by Medieval Academy Books from the Academy’s foundation to 2001. In addition to editions of Medieval Latin, the project will digitize these major vernaculars: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Welsh. Poetry and music are found in addition to prose works. By treating literary, philosophical, scientific, commercial, documentary, political, and religious texts, the project will provide multiple points of entry to the Middle Ages.

Half of the thirty-eight editions are out of print, and those titles in print and published before 1982 were printed on acidic paper and are therefore beginning to disintegrate. Digitization will obviate the problem of acidic paper and offer an extra dimension of accesssibility, for these texts will be findable through electronic search engines. Searchability will extend use of the material beyond the self-defined circle of medievalists, thus bringing the Academy’s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship to a new level. The books will be accessible free of charge on the Academy’s website. . . .
Some beta versions of the Academy's digital editions.