University Libraries’ labor unions digitized collections project completed | Penn State University

“Following three years of digitization and preparation, Penn State University Libraries has made available a vast collection of archival materials documenting the 20th-century American working-class experience, including the largest and most significant record series within the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) archives….”

A New Archive Digitizes More Than a Century of Black American Funeral Programs – Atlas Obscura

“A FUNERAL IS, AMONG MANY highly emotional things, an opportunity to consecrate someone’s life as historical fact, and to commit that truth to the public record. But what happens once those records—and the memories of those who witnessed those rites—are themselves lost within history?

A new initiative by the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is attempting to address that problem. In May 2020, the DLG introduced a free digital archive of some 3,348 programs from funerals of Black Americans who died between 1886 and 2019. (The archive will continue to grow in years to come.) It is a compendium of photos, prayers, and guest signatures that span the pre–Civil War South to the present day. And it’s a “treasure trove” for genealogists, says Tammy Ozier, president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), which contributed to the archive….”

Sneak preview of new free history of science collection | Jisc

“The digital archive is still in development, but all Jisc HE, FE and affiliate members will be able to preview an initial proportion of the content that’s being digitised ahead of the full launch later this year….

On completion, the collection will consist of a million pages of documents drawn from the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) and complementary materials from UK libraries and archives. Collections from the universities of Leeds and Liverpool, University College London and Senate House Libraries have already been selected for inclusion and free digitisation following an open call for expression of interest, and more collections from other university libraries and archives will be included over the next few weeks….”

Seshat: Global History Databank

“Seshat: Global History Databank 

was founded in 2011 to bring together the most current and comprehensive body of knowledge about human history in one place. The huge potential of this knowledge for testing theories about political and economic development has been largely untapped.

Our unique Databank

systematically collects what is currently known about the social and political organization of human societies and how civilizations have evolved over time. This massive collection of historical information allows us and others to rigorously test different hypotheses about the rise and fall of large-scale societies across the globe and human history….”

Open Science: Key Resources for Medievalists – Mittelalter

“The following collection of online resources is part of our article “How to make your medieval research more visible with Open Scholarship Methods and Tools” to be published in Imago Temporis Medium Aevum 15 (2021) at Lleida University (Spain). We would like to thank the editors of Imago Temporis Medium Aevum to allow us to bring a so-called living version of the section “Key Resources” online before the final publication of the article (read more about the journal here). The living version may differ from the upcoming printed version (updates, additional resources).

In the following we would like to share a (commented) list of useful resources for medievalists in the digital age with a focus on Open Science (Communication). Within each section the items are ordered alphabetically. This list does by no means claim to be exhaustive and it contains mainly non-profit resources. Often your university or institutional library can provide you with more information about Open Access content, policies, initiatives, and services available at your institution and beyond. We recommend to check online guides provided by libraries and welcome suggestions for additions and changes….”

Open and Free Access Materials for Research | Institute of Historical Research

“At the IHR [Institute of Historical Research], we recognise the effect that the current closure of libraries and archives is having on the ability to undertake research.

To help those writing dissertations and undertaking research, we are collecting links to accessible online materials. This listing is a work in progress, and we’re also asking you for additional recommendations to make this resource as useful as possible….”

Research Access and Scholarly Equity | Perspectives on History | AHA

“The AHA’s 2017 survey on this issue captured the breadth of the problem. Unequal access affects historians working in a wide variety of contexts, including full-time faculty at institutions unable to afford subscriptions, part-time and irregularly employed historians, independent scholars, job candidates, and historians employed outside of higher education. Faculty with inadequate access cannot keep up with the latest scholarship for teaching and have circumscribed access to the primary sources that enliven a classroom and stand at the center of highly regarded history pedagogy. This is not only a matter of academic careers or the pursuit of what we customarily refer to as “producing new knowledge”; it is also a matter of equity in higher education. Unequal access for faculty means unequal educational opportunity for students.

For contingent faculty, uneven research access reflects another aspect of job insecurity—if they lose their job, they lose access. …

The AHA encourages history departments to provide full library access to their own scholar alumni and to unaffiliated historians in their regions. History departments and academic units can play a positive role by supporting the scholarship of their alumni and by bringing more unaffiliated scholars into their orbit. Providing these historians a university affiliation—whether as a visiting scholar or by whatever means is feasible—will help close the gap between those with and without adequate research access. These actions will enable every historian to fully realize their potential as scholars and contributors to our discipline.”

Highlights from Harvard’s Colonial North America collection – Harvard Gazette

“For six years, Harvard Library has been working to make its vast collection of archival and manuscript materials from the colonial era accessible online. Today, approximately 650,000 digitized pages of handmade materials from the 17th and 18th centuries are available free to the public. Held in 14 repositories around the University, the works tell the tale of economic and social life in the colonies that would become the United States….”

Royal Historical Society Publishes Guidance Paper on “Plan S and History Journals” – RHS

“The report is designed to assist History and broader Humanities & Social Sciences stakeholders to understand and navigate the current policy frontiers of open access publishing for peer reviewed scholarly journals.

In particular, it is timed to contribute to the two public consultations on open access publication mandates, due to be launched shortly by United Kingdom Research & Innovation (UKRI), the funding body that includes the seven UK research councils as well as Research England.  This consultation process reflects UKRI’s membership of cOAlition S, a consortium of international funders established in 2018 which has articulated a new ‘Plan S’ mandate for open access publication.

The RHS report explains what cOAlition S and Plan S are, and why they matter to Humanities and Social Science researchers, journal editors and learned societies—among other stakeholders.  The report uses granular evidence of peer reviewed History journal publication to examine the potential impacts of Plan S implementation by UKRI.  The report is based on a summer 2019 RHS survey that attracted responses from 107 UK and international History learned society and proprietary journals.  Respondents included both self-publishing journals and journals published by 26 different university and commercial presses.  Additionally, the report uses data from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to explore open access journal publication in History….”

Historians Respond to Plan S: Open Access vs OA Policies Redux – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For years, humanists have been pointing to the multi-dimensional importance of openness and accessibility of scholarship, and the multi-dimensional costs of rigid open access (OA) policies. In late October, the Royal Historical Historical Society (RHS) released a “guidance paper” on “Plan S and the History Journal Landscape.” Authored by RHS president Margot Finn, a distinguished professor at University College London (UCL) and a prolific scholar, this follows the RHS’s April 2019 working paper on Plan S and researchers in history of medicine, and June 2019 paper, responding to Plan S, as well as the society’s long-standing engagement with OA policies, and guidance to researchers, particularly in regards to OA policies vis à vis the Research Excellence Framework (REF). It is relevant that the RHS has supported OA initiatives, including their monograph series, “New Historical Perspectives.”  

The new report brings together important evidence about the state of journals that UK historians are publishing in terms of Plan S compliance, and a survey of journal editors. From public data on publications and publishing (including from the 2014 REF), as well as a survey of more than 100 journal editors from 26 UK and international presses, the report concludes that “unless major shifts occur…in the next few months, it is unlikely that either UKRI or Wellcome Trust-funded History researchers will be able to identify sufficient high-quality journal outlets that  comply with full-scale implementation of Plan S.” The report offers perspectives in discreet chapters on “Plan S:  What Do We Know?” and “Plan S:  What Don’t We Know?” An overview of “Research and Journal Publication in History” is followed by an overview of “Open Access History Journals, DOAJ and Plan S” and then coverage of the RHS survey results, and potential routes to Plan S compliance….”