Anvil Academic's "Built Upon" Initiative

The news below is from Anvil Academic, a new academic publisher of “born-digital and born-again-digital academic research. We are an open-access, post-monograph publisher of new, complex forms of scholarly argument” (“About Anvil Academic“).
This is great news, and I’ve already contacted Anvil to ensure the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) and the UF Digital Collections are included, like the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Collection.
I’m extremely excited because what Anvil is doing  is exactly what many scholars need. I work with many scholars who create and expand digital collections and archives as part of their normal work. They have to build these archives in order for the next stage of their work in creating scholarly arguments. They’ve built their archives of personal precious photocopies (often the only second copy for materials held in distant libraries and archives) and by collaboratively building physical holdings in libraries. I work with them to continue or begin building their archives digitally and as open access, to better support their immediate personal needs as well as to support their fields and the larger system of scholarly communications with the archive now shared and accessible.
I’ve focused on slowly building these archives of primary materials with corresponding scholarly and contextual materials. Scholars often ask about other ways to move forward, and I provide additional examples (archives specifically developed with online exhibits, directed towards courses, etc.) of work that I can directly support for their needs, the scholarly community, and the library and archive needs. I also direct them to other resources and people for working collaboratively on larger projects, to find grant funding, and to think about other options. But, I’m not always sure of the best options or where to direct people for them to get started, so I provide uneven support (and may sometimes cause confusion). Anvil’s “Built Upon” series is such a concrete, clear, and productive example of what and how scholars can think about and develop from their archives, in a familiar mode of the book but also as something completely different, that it will now be my first go-to example for “what to do next”. I’m very, very excited and very much looking forward to the CFP for authors from Anvil, and to everything that comes after it!

Calling All Digital Archives: Announcing Anvil’s New “Built Upon” Initiative

(cc) Leo Reynolds
In keeping with our mission to foster innovative digital scholarship, Anvil Academic is excited to announce the launch of a new publishing initiative: Built Upon. The Built Upon series encourages authors to investigate and invigorate pre-existing digital tools and collections in developing their own scholarly arguments or pedagogical projects.  We want the Built Upon series to be an incubator and an accelerator of humanities innovation–a space where the craft, artistry, and objective rigor of humanistic pursuits find new and surprising modes of expression.
An Invitation to Digital Archives
We invite digital collections and other online scholarly resources in the humanities to participate in Built Upon, enabling researchers to make use of data, tools and other relevant materials (in many cases, deepening a prior commitment to public access). By participating in Built Upon, digital collections have a chance not only to increase their visibility, but also to contribute further to new modes of scholarship and gain a greater understanding of how scholars make use of their resources. Partners will also have the opportunity to take part in the peer review process, evaluating scholars’ work overall and, in particular, the use to which they have put the archive’s materials. We further encourage partners to provide limited technical assistance to authors. Finally, we hope that partners will support outreach and promotion efforts by bringing attention to relevant works published in the Built Upon series.
We see Built Upon as a venue for scholars to respond creatively to the work digital archives have done, for these archives to gain greater attention, and for Anvil to collaborate with all participants to promote digital humanities scholarship as a genre of work meriting formal publication.
Currently we have commitments to participate from these leading digital archives and web-based tools: Visualizing EmancipationValley of the Shadow, many of the NINES federated projects, and ORBIS. We expect to announce more partnerships in the coming weeks.
Digital archives and resources interested in participating in Built Upon should contact Fred Moody, Anvil editor, at
Stay tuned for our upcoming CFP
Finally, we’ll be announcing an official call for proposals soon–so stay tuned!