Press Release: Michigan Publishing and LYRASIS Announce Partnership to Deliver ACLS Humanities E-Book Collection

ATLANTA, GA – September 12, 2019 – Michigan Publishing, a division of the University of Michigan Library, and LYRASIS, an innovative full-service technology and services nonprofit, are pleased to announce the creation of a new partnership to advance the work of the American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book collection (ACLS HEB). 

ACLS will continue to oversee the selection of content, but will transfer responsibilities for the operation of the collection to Michigan Publishing, which has provided technical hosting for ACLS HEB since 2002. LYRASIS will support Michigan and keep overheads low for libraries and consortia by providing a single sales, licensing, and customer service channel. 

The arrangement will come into effect on October 1, 2019. Libraries should contact LYRASIS to subscribe to the collection after this date.  

The partnership between participating publishers, Michigan Publishing and LYRASIS maintains an end-to-end, non-profit, values-based operation. It ensures that subscribing libraries continue to receive a high-quality, globally recognized ebook resource that has become essential to supporting and training humanities scholars and students. 

ACLS HEB is a collection of over 5,000 backlist books carefully selected by ACLS scholars from the publication lists of the leading academic publishers, including university and scholarly society presses. The scholar-led selection and curation is unique among ebook collections. It has made ACLS HEB a core resource for academic libraries wishing to provide their patrons with high quality humanities content from across the ages. 

Launched in 2002, ACLS HEB was one of the earliest ebook collections to be developed. In 2018, it was transitioned to Michigan Publishing’s next generation publishing platform, Fulcrum, providing improved functionality and many new features. 

Under its agreement with ACLS, Michigan Publishing becomes the legal and organizational home for the collection starting in fall 2019, collaborating with organizational and individual rights-holders, overseeing marketing, and managing operations. To protect the most distinctive feature of the collection (that it is curated by scholars for scholars) and to continue to work with the community to explore the digital evolution of publishing longform scholarship, ACLS will remain deeply  involved in its governance.  

Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian for Publishing at University of Michigan says of the partnership, “We are grateful to ACLS and its advisors for the opportunity to ensure that this vital part of humanities digital infrastructure continues to be sustained by an entirely not-for-profit team. Like the experts at ACLS who have developed the collection over the years, our focus is on maintaining and increasing the value of the resource and maximizing access for libraries and their patrons. We look forward to continuing to strengthen relations with the publishers who entrust ACLS HEB with their most distinguished titles and the libraries of many sizes who connect these works to scholars.” 

Celeste Feather, Senior Director of Content and Scholarly Communication Initiatives for LYRASIS says, “We are excited to deepen our already strong partnership with Michigan Publishing to deliver this important resource to the community, all with the backbone of a mission-driven infrastructure which prioritizes the needs of the libraries and facilitates ease of use and adoption. We have been a longtime partner with Michigan Publishing through Fulcrum, and we welcome the chance to collaborate with such an innovative and forward-looking organization.” 

“The partnership with Michigan provides the perfect home for the Humanities E-Book Collection, bringing together two highly respected non-profits committed to maintaining the goals of ACLS into the future. By entrusting the operating management of this collection to Michigan Publishing, ACLS will be able to focus on the urgent work of evolving needs of scholars, the student populations of today, and our constituent societies   We are excited about the future of this trusted e-book aggregation, knowing that the Collection will be effectively stewarded and developed.” says James Shulman, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ACLS.

About LYRASIS
LYRASIS, a nonprofit technology and services membership organization of more than 1,000 libraries, museums, and archives, supports enduring access to our shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration. LYRASIS is now the proud home of DuraSpace Community Supported programs, and is steward to 10 community supported projects that benefit members and more.

About Michigan PublishingMichigan Publishing is the hub of scholarly publishing at the University of Michigan, and is a part of its dynamic and innovative University Library. They publish scholarly and educational materials in a range of formats for wide dissemination and permanent preservation, provide publishing services to the University of Michigan community and beyond, and advocate for the broadest possible access to scholarship everywhere.