Humanities E-Book
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A winning combination: HEB and Fulcrum

August 1, 2018 — Humanities E-Book (HEB) subscribers will notice a difference in the platform’s appearance and functionality with the launch of our collection on Fulcrum, a publishing platform and set of hosting and publishing services developed by Michigan Publishing.

According to the Fulcrum website, “Fulcrum has been developed by a group of campus-based publishers working closely with disciplinary faculty and information science specialists who recognize the changing nature of scholarly publishing in the humanities and qualitative social sciences.”

Development of the platform was supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and implemented by the University of Michigan Library and Press. Along with HEB, partners of this project include Northwestern University Press, Penn State University Press, University of Minnesota Press, Lever Press, New York University Press, and Indiana University Press.


Founded in 1999 and launched in 2002, HEB has always prioritized giving backlist titles a second life within a sustainable digital environment. With the development of increasingly intuitive and user-friendly digital capabilities over the past nearly 20 years, primarily through a partnership with University of Michigan Press, which began on July 30, 2005, users have enjoyed a combination of high-quality content and technology.

For more than a decade the two groups had used a system called the Digital Library Extension Service, which was created as part of the University of Michigan’s digital library initiative system. As technology and scholars’ needs evolved, however, HEB aimed to present the most innovative platform possible.


Learn more about our three shared values here.

As always, HEB aims to provide its subscribers and users the best experience in these main areas:

  • Innovation: After a lengthy development process to enhance user experience, HEB’s new platform will feature enhanced media and supplemental materials, chapters available for download, and annotation tools that will streamline the research process.
  • Engagement: An ever-changing digital landscape means continuing to make it easy for users to access content, whether that be on a desktop computer or mobile device. Fulcrum and its partners have aimed to grow engagement through establishing EPUB 3 as its core standard and enlisting the Michigan State University Usability/Research and Consulting Group to audit platform design.
  • Longevity: HEB’s commitment to providing long-term access to humanities titles will be further strengthened by Fulcrum, which will provide access to our collection and allow for evolution in the future.

Read about the award-winning titles being added to our collection here

Find out which subject areas will be seeing new titles.
Read up on the newest special series joining HEB’s title list.

Northwestern University Press
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Penn State University Press
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University of Minnesota Press
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Lever Press
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University of Michigan Press
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NYU Press
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Indiana University Press
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A Platform Built on Shared Values: Reflecting on the Fulcrum/HEB Partnership

Contributed by Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian, Publishing, University of Michigan Library

There has been a lot of discussion within the library community recently about the relationship between the technology we use to host and deliver content and our shared values as a non-profit, mission-driven community. Elsevier’s 2017 acquisition of the bepress publishing and repository platform shed a spotlight on concerns that had been bubbling for a while, and a day-long pre-conference to the Library Publishing Forum in May 2018 entitled “Owned by the Academy: A Preconference on Open Source Publishing Software” rapidly sold out. In a blog post following the forum, Melanie Schlosser summarized the outcome of the pre-conference:

“Publishing platforms can be a place where libraries do research and development, finding new partnerships and collaboration opportunities, working with new types of scholarship and methods, and experimenting with new technologies. The only way we can grow in this space is to be ready to fail, to be ready to experiment, and to invest as a community in open source so that we can improve these technologies and work toward a community-owned infrastructure.”

Screenshot of Media Gallery for “Lake Erie Fishermen” (University of Illinois Press, 1990)

Supporting thousands of users annually, being “ready to fail” is not an option for ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB), but Melanie’s message resonates. Alone among major ebook collections, HEB is and has always been built on community-owned, open source infrastructure. From its inception in 1999, through its early partnerships, and since it became self-sustaining in 2005, HEB has always taken a values-based approach to its underlying technology as well as the high-quality content it selects. This has been manifested over the last 13 years by HEB’s partnership with the University of Michigan Library, inaugurated on July 30, 2005. For over a decade the system used was the Digital Library Extension Service created as part of U-M’s digital library initiatives. As that system started to show its age, HEB and Michigan’s relationship enters a new chapter in 2018 as the collection moves to the next-generation Fulcrum platform, again built by U-M Library and this time with generous support and a strong vote of confidence from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

As part of the visioning process over the last 18 months, the Michigan and HEB teams have talked quite a bit about the values that we share and how we wish those to be reflected in the Fulcrum platform’s design. We’ve been strongly informed by the HumetricsHSS initiative, which “Endeavors to create and support a values-based framework for understanding all aspects of the scholarly life well-lived and for promoting the nurturing of these values in scholarly practices.” Although they do not exactly map to the five values that the HumetricsHSS initiative has identified as central to all HSS disciplines, we came to the conclusion that “innovation, engagement, longevity” were the common core of what HEB and Fulcrum are trying to support. You may have seen these highlighted in recent HEB promotions.


While most known for its carefully-curated collection of classic texts, HEB was founded on the idea that it would also support scholars in innovating with new forms of scholarship. The backlist already includes some pioneering examples of XML-encoded titles dynamically transformed into HTML, with interactive features and resources not available in the print version. The Mellon Foundation’s support of Fulcrum is explicitly focused on supporting humanities scholars so they can take full advantage of digital affordances in their publishing as they are already doing in their scholarship. This means that you’ll continue to find more interactive tools, more non-textual multimedia content, and more materials that go “beyond the book” on the new HEB platform. These will continue to evolve as the development team uses agile methodology to respond to emerging needs and connect more open source modules to the core Fulcrum stack. 


HEB is often where students first encounter high quality research content in the humanities. Recent HEB initiatives such as the Humanities Open Book program collection expand access to users around the world and far beyond the community of university subscribers. However, making content easy to find and download is not enough. A commitment to engagement also means making ebooks available to users through whatever digital tools they prefer to use—be that mobile devices or assistive reading technologies. Through its commitment to EPUB 3 as the core content standard and platform design choices audited by the Michigan State University Usability/Research and Consulting Group, Fulcrum has made ensuring the “accessibility” of HEB content a core value since its inception.


As we have talked to the scholars and librarians who remain central to all the work Fulcrum and HEB do, we have found their number one concern to be the durability of digital content. Seared by encountering 404 “not found” HTTP status codes, authors are wary of entrusting their scholarship to the web and their interest in sharing the full richness of their research is often held back by this concern. That is why Fulcrum is built on institutional/data repository software as part of the Samvera open source communitywhich consists of some of the world’s leading research institutions. This also means the commitment to preserving HEB content that the University of Michigan Library makes and the workflows we use to ensure longevity are equivalent to the ways in which we treat research data from U-M’s science, medical, and humanities faculty.

All of this may sound very grand, but what does this all mean in practice for the librarians, publishers, authors, and readers who provide the lifeblood of the HEB collection? It means that when HEB’s supporting libraries invest in the ebook collection they are not only providing access for their academic communities to the most respected core scholarship in a range of humanities fields, but they are also supporting the maintenance and development of open source, community-owned infrastructure that shares the values of the Academy, catalyzes the development of new forms of scholarly publishing, and which will never be sold out for the profit of shareholders. That is something of which all the HEB supporters should be very proud.

Charles Watkinson

Charles Watkinson

Associate University Librarian for Publishing / Director, University of Michigan Press

Learn more about the Universality of Michigan Library and Michigan Publishing.

2018 additions to HEB Special Series

As HEB gears up for our 15th annual release of titles in the collection on the new Fulcrum platform, take a moment below to see new entries in select Special Series

HEB’s Special Series are offered to subscribers without any extra fees. The series are comprised of an eclectic group of titles, ranging from letters written by Walt Whitman (offered by NYU Press) to titles recommended by member librarians of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA).

If you have any questions, email

Below are selections from 3 Special Series being expanded August 1: the ATLA Special Series, Fordham Philosophy Series, and ACLS Fellows’ Publications.

Please note, the lists below are incomplete. For a full list of titles added to any HEB Special Series, please contact HEB.

ATLA Special Series
A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada, by Phyllis D. Airport (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013)

see on publishers site

Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity, by Pamela E. Klassen (University of California Press, 2011)

see on publishers site

Discipline and Debate: The Language of Violence in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, by Michael Lempert (University of California Press, 2012)

see on publishers site

The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volumes 1 & 2, by John McDermott (ed.) (Fordham University Press, 2005)

see on publishers site

Fordham Philosophy Series
Inexhaustibility and Human Being: An Essay on Locality, by Stephen David Ross (Fordham University Press, 1989)

see on publisher’s site

Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man,  by Jean-Yves Lacoste (Fordham University Press, 2004)

 see on publisher’s site

Phenomenology “Wide Open”: After the French Debate, by Dominique Janicaud (Fordham University Press, 2010)

see on publisher’s site

The Unforgettable and the Unhoped For, by Jean-Louis Chrétien (Fordham University Press, 2002)

see on publisher’s site

ACLS Fellows Publications
Urban Forms and Colonial Confrontations: Algiers Under French Rule, by Zeynep Celik, F’11, F’04, F’92 (University of California Press, 1997)

see on publisher’s site

Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea, by Suk-Young Kim F’14, (University of Michigan Press, 2010)

see on publisher’s site

Visions of Japanese Modernity: Articulations of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895-1925, by Aaron Gerow, F’17, (University of California Press, 2010)

see on publisher’s site

Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality, With a New Preface, by Leigh Eric Schmidt, F’13, (University of California Press, 2012)

see on publisher’s site


Titles being added to over 40 subject areas

With the addition of our Round 15 titles, available to subscribers on August 1, comes the expansion of over 40 subject areas, ranging from anthropology to literature and military history. These titles include:

  • Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History by Rosemary Radford Ruether
  • Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz by Todd Decker
  • Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages by Patrick Edward McGovern
  • Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America by Eva Marie Garroutte
  • Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature by H-Dirksen L. Bauman

For a complete breakdown, browse the full list below of subject areas covered in the latest round.

Subject area# of new titles added
Music and musicology 7
European: Ancient to 400 C.E.2
European: 400-1400 2
European: 1400-18005
European: Russia/Eastern3
European: General and multiperiod1
European: 1800-present4
Women's studies9
Gender studies16
Film/media studies11
Asian: South and Southeast4
Asian: China and Inner Asia3
Asian: Northeast (Japan, Korea)5
Middle Eastern: general and multiperiod2
Middle Eastern: ancient-6321
Middle eastern: 632-19181
American: general and multiperiod2
American: colonial-17893
American: 1789-18992
American: 1900-present5
Jewish studies3
Native people of the Americas7
Political science13
Military history4
Dance and performance history15
Environmental history2
Science and technology2
Latin American4
Art history2
Hip hop studies1
LGBTQ/queer studies2
Biblical literature2

New award-winning titles being added to our collection

With the addition of round 15, Humanities E-Book is pleased to announce that many of the new titles being added are award-winners. Some of these awards include:

  • CLIO Award (through Canadian Historical Association)
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award (CHOICE Magazine)
  • William J. Goode Book Award (American Sociological Association)
  • Chicago Folklore Prize (American Folklore Society)
  • American Political Science Association prizes

Flip through to find a selection of our newest award-winning books, and find the full collection on August 1.

James Henry Breasted Prize: Hellenism in Late Antiquity, G.W. Bowersock

Chicago Folklore Prize: The Anguish of Snails: Native American Folklore in the West, Barre Toelken

John Nicholas Brown Prize (Medieval Academy of America): Studies in Upplandic Runography, Clairborne W. Thompson

Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award: Telling Tales: Essays on Gender and
Narrative Form in Victorian Literature and Culture, Elizabeth Langland

Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize (Modern Language Association): Signs of Dissent:
Maryse Conde and Postcolonial Criticism
, Dawn Fulton

Elli Kongas-Maranda Prize (American Folklore Society): Listening for a Life: A Dialogic
Ethnography of Bessie Eldreth Through Her Songs and Stories
, Patricia Sawin

National Jewish Book Award: Building Jewish Roots: The Israel Experience, Faydra L. Shapiro

Raymond Klibansky Prize: Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Volume 1, Passion, Reason, and Politics, 1826-1857, David Wilson

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Language of the Inuit:
Syntax, Semantics, and Society in the Arctic
, Louis-Jacques Dorais

Leo Gershoy Award (American Historical Association): A World of Paper: Louis XIV, Colbert de Torcy,
and the Rise of the Information State
, John C. Rule and Ben S. Trotter

Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award (American Political Science Association):
The Canadian Founding: John Locke and Parliament
, Janet Ajzenstat

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of
Depression in the Contemporary Age
, Alain Ehrenberg

Jason A. Hannah Medal (Royal Society of Canada): Architecture in the Family Way:
Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900
, Annmarie Adams

Clio Prize (Canadian Historical Association): Seafaring Labour: The Merchant Marine of Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914, Eric. W. Sager

Raymond Klibansky Prize (Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences): Women,
Work & The French State: Labour Protectoin & Social Patriarchy – 1879-1919
, Mary Lynn Stewart

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Invention of Journalism Ethics:
The Path to Objectivity and Beyond
, Stephen J.A. Ward

Clio Award (Canadian Historical Association): A Place in the Sun: Haiti, Haitians, and the Remaking of Quebec, Sean Mills

Jennifer Welsh Scholarly Writing Award (Saskatchewan Book Awards): No Free Man: Canada,
The Great War, and the Enemy Alien Experience
, Bohdan S. Kordan

Canadian Society for the Study of Religion: A Church With The Soul of a Nation:
Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada
, Phyllis D. Airhart

Canada Prize in the Social Sciences: Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America, Nancy J. Turner

The Donald Smiley Prize (Canadian Political Science Association): Parallel Paths:
The Development of Nationalism in Ireland and Quebec
, Garth Stevenson

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk, Ingeborg Marshall

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Anxieties of Affluence:
Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979
, Daniel Horowitz

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The American College Town, Blake Gumprecht

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Celebrating the Fourth:
Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic
, Len Travers

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Cesare Pavese and America: Life, Love, and Literature, Lawrence G. Smith

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Culture and Sport of Skiing: From Antiquity to World War II, E. John B. Allen



Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music
Revival & American Society, 1940-1970
, Ronald D. Cohen

E. Jennifer Monaghan Book Award; Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award
(American Library Association):
Reading Places: Literacy, Democracy,
and the Public Library in Cold War America
, Christine Pawley

James P. Hanlan Book Award (New England Historical Association):
Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England, Richard W. Judd

Eugene M. Kayden Award: Swinging The Machine: Modernity, Technology, and
African American Culture between the World Wars
, Joel Dinerstein

DeLong Book History Prize: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Reading Revolution: Race, Literacy,
Childhood, and Fiction, 1851-1911
, Barbara Hochman

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion
in 17th-Century Massachusetts
, Richard Weisman

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Work Sights: The Visual Culture
of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America
, Vanessa Meikle Schulman

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: The Sinai: A Physical Geography, Ned Greenwood

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen, Yasefa Loshitzky




Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: “Evil” Arabs in American Popular Film: Orientalist Fear, Tim Jon Semmerling

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Israeli Cinema, Identities in Motion,
Miri Talmon and Yaron Peleg

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Stone Tool Use at Cerros, Suzanne M. Lewenstein

Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize (Modern Language Association): Facundo and the Construction
of Argentine Culture
, Diana Sorensen Goodrich

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award: Sacred Laves of Candomble:
African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil
, Robert A. Voeks