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Partnering for Digital Publishing: Resurfacing At-Risk Works of the Small, Independent, Feminist Press Public Deposited

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  • In this presentation we discuss a digital publishing partnership between OSU Libraries and Calyx Press, Inc. An international non-profit feminist press, Calyx brought many now-prominent authors to international attention, including the poet Sharon Olds and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska. Supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, this partnership aims to preserve Calyx Press titles and make them readily available in ebook formats. The project relies on the strengths of each partner, embodying how a comparatively well-resourced public institution serves to amplify an important community non-profit, preserving its rich contributions to feminism and women’s movements. This project will bring twenty-plus out-of-print titles spanning 3 decades into wider circulation by converting them into ebooks with a Creative Commons license. This project aligns with similar efforts such as the digitization of the feminist magazine Spare Rib (1972-1993) by the British Library and JISC (a non-profit supporting digital technologies in research and education). The large-scale digitization of feminist publications like these has the potential to attract new and returning generations of readers and scholars interested in 20th- and 21st-century feminist writing. Ideally we hope our digital collection will find new audiences and re-invigorate our long standing audience. Along the way, we have tussled with problematic questions of ownership, valuing the labor of creative workers, and digital rights. By sharing our experience thus far, we align with our feminist foresisters who were “contributing to the movement through the very act of producing a magazine” (Forster, 2016, p. 28). Sharing the complex concerns we’ve encountered along with our hopeful vision for aggregating and disseminating at-risk work of feminist authors and scholars, we are working to contribute to today’s digital feminist movement.
  • Slides and script presented at the 2018 Michigan State University Global Digital Humanities Symposium.
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  • East Lansing, Michigan, USA
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  • National Endowment for the Humanities Open Book Program
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