An initiative for digital scholarship — an important element in the University’s strategic plan, <em>Building on Distinction</em> — has received a $1.3-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown will launch its new digital scholarship initiative with a $1.3-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initiative, to be administered jointly by the University Library and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, will support the development, publication, and preservation of digital publications, with an emphasis on long-form digital publications by Brown faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Recognizing the importance of encouraging and supporting the digital scholarship of faculty and students in future research, the University plans to put in place editorial and enhanced technical staff resources to guide and facilitate the development of digital publications. The process will include building and testing a prototype infrastructure for digital publications that includes editorial and specialized design assistance, dissemination and preservation services, and new systems of peer review and scholarly validation for such work.

“With this new initiative, Brown will do far more than merely signal its commitment to supporting faculty working on digital projects,” said Kevin McLaughlin, dean of the faculty. “It will spearhead an effort at building an approach to digital publication at the level of the academic institution that can become a model for universities — not just to support, but to promote the recognition of important new modes of scholarship certain to play increasingly important roles in the future of scholarship and its dissemination.”

To oversee this new initiative, the Mellon grant will be used to hire a digital scholarly editor who, with other institutionally and grant-funded project staff, will work closely with faculty on developing their scholarship into digital publications, as well as with presses and other publication organizations that will produce and disseminate this digital scholarship.

Establishment of this program will also provide opportunities for the next generation of scholars, at both the graduate and undergraduate level, to gain experience and skills in the creation of digital scholarship in the humanities.

“Digital scholarship has deep roots at Brown and over time, the University Library has become a core supporter for this type of work, especially in the humanities,” said Harriette Hemmasi, University librarian. “The Mellon grant will extend the library’s capabilities as a central force in advancing new forms and methods of scholarly communication at Brown and beyond.”