The American Council of Learned Societies Humanities Ebook Collection is a collection of over 5,700 scholarly books, from over 125 publishers, sold as a subscription package to over 800 library subscribers. ACLS HEB is a collection curated by scholars for scholars; members of ACLS learned societies nominate books for inclusion, and Michigan Publishing licenses them and pays royalties to contributing publishers.
The ACLS Humanities Ebook Collection (ACLS HEB) is a collaboration between the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Michigan Publishing, and the Fulcrum publishing platform. There are three main areas in which ACLS and Michigan Publishing have worked together to improve diversity and inclusion for the ACLS HEB collection: through introducing values-based criteria into collection development; through improving the accessibility of the platform; and through experimenting with open access models that increase equitable access. Read more about our shared DEIA commitments here.
ACLS HEB began in 1999 as the History Ebook Project, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The collection was originally launched online in 2002, thanks to support with development from the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Society for the History of Technology, and the Middle East Studies Association. In 2019, ACLS COO and Vice President James Shulman led an initiative to transfer operations of ACLS HEB to Michigan Publishing (which had hosted the collection since 2005). In 2020, more funding from the Mellon Foundation has given MPUB an opportunity to re-envision the collection by improving user experience, increasing access, and developing the list of titles to include more analyses of power and social location.
ACLS HEB is unique among e-book collections in three ways:
Contributing ACLS societies ask what titles would make the collection most useful in their respective fields, as well as how to address gaps in the collection.
The collection is hosted on the Fulcrum publishing platform which presents long-form scholarly research in its full richness, and it emphasizes the values of durability, discoverability, accessibility, and flexibility.
Curated selection on a durable platform means more access to backlist content that is otherwise inaccessible.