Brian Keith is co-PI (principal investigator) for a new $79,000 National Endowment for the Humanities and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to support the digitization of 30 out-of-print books on the history and culture of Florida and the Caribbean.
Keith, who is the Associate Dean for the University of Florida Libraries and an online master of library and information science student, partnered with the University Press of Florida and the Florida Humanities Council to secure the grant and make the digital books freely available online and in electronic formats.
One of the unique things about this particular collection is its strong geographical ties and scholastic importance to Florida-based groups, such as the Florida Humanities Council, Leadership Florida and Florida Teacher’s Workshops. The scope of books selected for this project reflects this integration and interchangeability of the material to suit the needs of scholars, educators and new generations of Floridians as the state’s migration both in and out continues.
Providing free and Open Access to outstanding books from the University Press of Florida (with licensing to support use and reuse) to the proposed collection of hard to find works about Florida and the Caribbean will give scholars, educators and interested readers access foundational texts in Caribbean and Latin American studies, while showing how those fields connect to Florida’s particular culture, history, and place within the continental US.
Dissemination of the project’s products will take place through e-file distribution of titles to such outlets as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple as a means for promoting availability of books in this collection. Author talks will promote selected books and the Open Book Program at the University of Florida and other venues, in collaboration with the Center for the Humanities in the Public Sphere and the Florida Humanities Council, to a variety of audiences including Florida history teachers.