Project MUSE, in collaboration with Cornell University Press, is pleased to announce the digital, fully-open-access availability of seven classic titles from the Press’ distinguished catalog, on the Project MUSE platform. Funded via a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Humanities Open Book Program, the seven out-of-print titles – none previously available electronically – were carefully selected with input from subject specialists at the Cornell University Library for their enduring scholarly impact.
“We are thrilled to make these seven classic titles openly accessible for the first time to the global scholarly community on Project MUSE,” said Dean Smith, Director of Cornell University Press. “MUSE will enable us to maximize discovery and dissemination on an established platform that is embracing new models for hosting open access scholarship.”
“These first open books from Cornell University Press reflect a long-standing legacy of publishing classic scholarship in German Studies and Slavic Studies,” said Brett Bobley, Director of the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. “We are pleased that the titles are accessible and open for the next generation of scholars.”
Cornell University Library and Press staff began the process of selecting twenty books to be digitized with the NEH grant by examining over two decades of the library’s circulation statistics for influential Press titles which are currently out-of-print. Scholars and subject specialists in selected fields were then asked to evaluate the list of prospective titles using both this quantitative data and their own knowledge of research and teaching needs in their specialty areas, to choose those books of greatest continuing interest and relevance.
The first seven titles to be produced, and now made available on MUSE, include:
- Rewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904–1907, by Robert E. Blobaum (1995) - The revolution of 1905 in the Russian-ruled Kingdom of Poland marked the consolidation of major new influences on the political scene. As he examines the emergence of a mass political culture in Poland, Robert E. Blobaum offers the first history in any Western language of this watershed period.
- The Electrification of Russia, 1880–1926, by Jonathan Coopersmith (1992) - The first full account of the widespread adoption of electricity in Russia, from the beginning in the 1880s to its early years as a state technology under Soviet rule. Coopersmith’s narrative of this crucial element in the modernization of Russia elucidates the deep-seated and chronic conflict between the utopianism of Soviet ideology and the reality of Soviet politics and economics.
- Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918–1929, by Michael David-Fox (1997) - Using archival materials never previously accessible to Western scholars, Michael David-Fox analyzes Bolshevik Party educational and research initiatives in higher learning after 1917. His fresh consideration of the era of the New Economic Policy and cultural politics after the Revolution explains how new communist institutions rose to parallel and rival conventional higher learning from the Academy of Sciences to the universities.
- The Institution of Criticism, by Peter Uwe Hohendahl (1982) - Drawing on the tradition of the Frankfurt School and on Jürgen Habermas’s concept of the public sphere, Hohendahl takes a close look at the social history of literary criticism in Germany since the eighteenth century, and sheds light on some of the important political and social forces that shape literature and culture. Including seven essays originally published in German, the book conveys the rich possibilities of the German perspective for those who employ American and French critical techniques and for students of contemporary critical theory.
- Building a National Literature: The Case of Germany, 1830–1870, by Peter Uwe Hohendahl, translated by Renate Baron Franciscono (1989) - Hohendahl examines important elements in the making of a national literature, including the political and literary public sphere, the theory and practice of literary criticism, and the emergence of academic criticism as literary history.
- Reappraisals: Shifting Alignments in Postwar Critical Theory, by Peter Uwe Hohendahl (1991) - A provocative account of the development of modern critical theory in Germany and the United States. Hohendahl interprets and subjects to critical scrutiny many of the central ideas of the Frankfurt School.
- The Self and Its Pleasures: Bataille, Lacan, and the History of the Decentered Subject, by Carolyn J. Dean (1992) - In this innovative cultural history, the author sheds light on the origins of poststructuralist thought, paying particular attention to the reinterpretation of the self by Jacques Lacan, Georges Bataille, and other French thinkers. Dean examines an array of evidence from medical texts and literary works alike. The Self and Its Pleasures offers a pathbreaking understanding of the boundaries between theory and history.
“As an advocate for open access and sustainable publishing, Cornell University Library is thrilled to see the digital versions of Cornell University Press titles made openly accessible to all readers,” said Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian for the Cornell University Libraries. “Previously available in print form only, the titles selected were not only well received when initially published but remain relevant to scholars and students today.”
“I’m particularly pleased that this initial round of Cornell Open books includes titles that will be important complements to books in our Signale series in Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought,” added Kizer Walker, Director of Collections for Cornell University Library, and Managing Editor of the Signale series. “The program will acquaint new readers with three seminal works in criticism, theory, and literary history by Signale’s editor, Peter Uwe Hohendahl, originally published with Cornell Press in the 1980s and ‘90s.” Several recent titles from the Signale series, a joint imprint of the Cornell Press and Library, are also available on Project MUSE.
Libraries wishing to add the seven open access titles from Cornell to their online catalogs may download a set of free MARC records. The titles will be fully indexed and discoverable in MUSE’s search and browse features, with metadata provided to all of MUSE’s discovery partners; they will share the same user-friendly interface with MUSE’s other book content and offer unlimited simultaneous usage, downloading, and printing.
“Project MUSE is delighted to provide a stable, long-term, and highly functional platform for the digital open access versions of these influential works of scholarship,” said Wendy Queen, Director of Project MUSE. “The titles enhance our offerings in core humanities and area studies disciplines and our global user base will benefit from unrestricted access to these classic scholarly books.”
Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community. Since 1995 the MUSE journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. Project MUSE Books, launched in January 2012, offer DRM-free access to top quality book-length scholarship from distinguished university presses and scholarly societies, fully integrated with MUSE's scholarly journal content.
Cornell University Press was established in 1869, giving it the distinction of being the first university press to be established in the United States, although it was inactive for several decades between 1890 and 1930. From that beginning, the Press has grown to be a major scholarly publisher, offering over 100 new titles a year in the humanities and social sciences.
The Humanities Open Book Program is designed to make outstanding out-of-print humanities books available to a wide audience. By taking advantage of low-cost “ebook” technology, the program will allow teachers, students, scholars, and the public to read humanities books that have long been out of print. Humanities Open Book is jointly sponsored by NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.