North Texas Daily

UNT to digitize historic texts

UNT to digitize historic texts

February 16
19:29 2016

Alexandria Reeves | Staff Writer


Thanks to a $95,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, nearly 150 historical texts will be digitized by the UNT Libraries and made available for free as e-books.

Kevin Hawkins, the assistant dean for scholarly communication

Kevin Hawkins, the assistant dean for scholarly communication.

The NEH is an independent agency that focuses on promoting scholarship and the humanities. After a proposal headed by Kevin Hawkins, the assistant dean for scholarly communication, the program granted UNT the funds necessary to take a new step in preserving Texas and Oklahoma history.

“This category of funding is brand new,” Hawkins said.

Because of a Creative Commons license that allows for content to be downloaded and modified if needed, these historical texts will be digitized in a way that has not yet been seen at UNT. These books will be in an e-book format that can be downloaded from the UNT Portal to Texas History or the Gateway to Oklahoma History into apps like Kindle or Nook, and will presented in format that is similar to reading text on a web page.

The transition, Hawkins said, is highly anticipated and will by available to the university community sometime in 2017.

This will make them more accessible than the traditional texts that are scanned and uploaded to an online database where it must remain, Hawkins said. The reader is not chained to a website or an Internet connection, and the text is portable.

“You’re reading text, not a picture of text,” Hawkins said.

Nearly all of the books that will be digitized are related to Texas and Oklahoma history, so it seems natural that UNT’s partners for this project are the Texas State Historical Association, the Oklahoma Historical Society and the UNT Press.

You do not have to be a UNT student or faculty member to access the texts, as the goal of this project is to make older, rarer and harder to find books more accessible to the public, for students and amateur historians alike.

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