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It's not an archive. It's a tool. Help us develop the technology to save countless old, out-of-print, and/or rare academic texts.
204 backers pledged $9,211 to help bring this project to life.

Progress! Your first e-book, new books planned, and much more.

Posted by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (Creator)

Hello All!

This is our first update in a while so we have a ton of information to share with you. First up, the free part of our ~Archive is currently being tested, with new features and formats being rolled out periodically. You can check it out here: http://thebrooklyninstitute.com/ebook-testing-page/,
The current book displayed is Marxist Perspectives #8. This will also be the first, full e-book that we will be releasing in the coming weeks. This e-book will feature high resolution reproductions of the original cover and artwork, fully functional and easily navigable footnotes and table of contents, and a special new appendix where we've reproduced all the ads from the original journal (and trust us, the ads from a late 70s Marxist journal are amazing.) 

For those of you who didn't hear the news, Eugene Genovese, the editor-in-chief of Marxist Perspectives for its short-lived 8 issue run, recently passed away. While Genovese himself remains a controversial figure for his sharp change in political views over the years, his scholarship, particularly on slavery and the American South, is highly respected and he will be missed. This merely adds to our pride in working with Dissent Magazine to reproduce these journals. Additionally, the next e-book in our series will be Marxist Perspectives #1 which features a long introductory essay by the late Eric Hobsbawm, one of the greatest historians of the 20th century. While we mourn the passing of these scholars, we look forward to, in our own small way, helping to preserve and reproduce this important work. And we hope everyone who has supported us through our Kickstarter and beyond will enjoy reading the books! 

Finally, we are very excited to announce that the first non-Marxist Perspectives book in our ~Archive will be Intellectual and Manual Labor by Alfred Sohn-Rethel. We recently received permission from Alfred's son (and translator) Martin Sohn-Rethel to reproduce the book through the ~Archive. Alfred Sohn-Rethel worked with many figures in the original Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany; Martin even mentioned a treasured early manuscript by Alfred that contains notes and commentary by Walter Benjamin. This, coupled with the fact that Sohn-Rethel's work is difficult to find in English, particularly in America, amplifies our excitement in reproducing this fascinating work. This is also a book that was requested by one of you! We always hoped the ~Archive would driven by the needs and requests of users so we cannot be more pleased that thus far we are working on texts that scholars, interested readers, and other institutions, have suggested. So please continue to send requests (particularly for pre-1923 books!) 

Thanks again for your support and interest in the ~Archive and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Stay tuned for more news (including about the much anticipated PENS!) 

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Thank You! We made it!!

Posted by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (Creator)

THANK YOU! So much more to come but for now, thank you all so much. You'll be hearing from us very soon about info for collecting your pledge rewards and the progress of the project. But for now, we want to say, a big collective, exhausted: THANK YOU!

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The Phase IV 30%! Our Campaign's Final Days.

Posted by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (Creator)

This is another big thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far! THANK YOU! 

This is also an explanation of how much further we can go. We estimate that with an additional 30% over our original goal, we can actually start building not only the software infrastructure for things like multilingual editions, but also support the necessary, painstaking scholarship that goes into the kinds of interactive, useful edition-apps we are imagining. We have already begun talking with software engineers about making this a reality, but we're not there yet! So these last days are vital for pushing this project to its limits. 

In Phase IV, we will not only be able to work with the kinds of materials we have been talking about for the first three phases of our project, but also take existing public domain works (classic works of philosophy, literature, and more!) and re-create them in ways that can promote learning, close-reading, language study, critical thought, and, in general, integrate the works that are available more closely into the daily lives of YOU, the users, the "public" that owns that "domain." This is tremendously exciting for us. It is yet another way for us, as an organization, to continue our mission of bringing the humanities, social sciences, and sciences into the social worlds of communities around us here in New York and also, using our tools, anywhere else. 

So thank you all again! We know we wouldn't have made it this far without you, and we know that with your support, especially in getting the word out about the Brooklyn Institute and the ~Archive, we will be able to make these last remaining days as rewarding as possible! 

It's also the end of our Spring Term for the Brooklyn Institute. We've attached some photos here. These aren’t photos of old books, or books we're working to preserve. Rather, we're posting photos of what our classes are like here at the Institute. Our e-tools aren't only about us. And they're not even only about you. They're also about making rigorous, serious scholarship more widely available to everyone. They're about making this kind of experience possible everywhere: easily replicable, sustainable, adaptable, transparent, and accessible. Our ~Archive and our other e-projects are not about replacing the social world with a virtual one. They're about using technology in innovative ways to support and enhance the world we share and the communities we live in. We thank you again for your support. We can't wait to keep talking with about preserving books, creating new ways to share them, and more, in the coming months and beyond.  

 

FYI: If you are posting or forwarding this, some articles about the BISR:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/04/17/new-york-project-seeks-wider-audience-liberal-arts 

http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/brooklyn-institute-2012-4/ 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/stone-links-a-physicists-flap/ 

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100% FUNDED! And the road ahead...

Posted by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (Creator)

THANK YOU ALL! With your help, we have reached our minimum funding goal and the ~Archive will be funded. Let the ~Archiving commence!

Seriously, we are unbelievably excited about this. And we want to take these last 6 days as we go past our minimum goal to talk about all the other things we can start doing with an even further funded ~Archive and what you and all our other users can get out of the project. 

We have officially entered the world of possibilities that we outlined as "Phase 4" in our mission statement for the ~Archive: 

"Phase 4: Beyond! (Estimated Cost $????+)

What? I thought we were supposed to be finished at $7500? In a sense, we will. We will have procured and reproduced our three proof-of-concept books and honed our technologies and methodologies. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. We would love to push our tool to its absolute limits. For example, we would love to produce new dual-language, or even multilingual, editions of texts, to develop the technology to show not only the original language and a translation in clearly connected and easy-to-navigate ways, but legally to procure and display multiple layers of translations all in a single e-edition. Imagine the excitement of an edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason that displays all the most prominent English translations juxtaposed with the original German. Okay, so that might excite us a bit more than it does you. But imagine other possibilities that are more to your tastes. In fact, please, tell us about them! What's more, we could give scholars who hold the permission to reproduce their own work -- anything from monographs to data sets to book reviews and essay collections -- a platform not only to make their work widely available and easily searchable, but also to be able to earn some money from those who download their work in the more convenient formats."

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So thank you all again and we hope that the word keeps spreading, that the open world of Phase 4 becomes more and more of a reality and that we can make the ~Archive a powerful tool in the hands of researchers, scholars, and readers of all kinds. Not only to preserve and disseminate texts but to begin to re-imagine what can be done with them. We can't wait. 

91%! Entering our last week and more...

Posted by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (Creator)

First off, thanks to all our supporters, new and old, for your contributions to our campaign, book suggestions, contacts, and more. We could not be as far along as we are without your active help and support!

I expected to be writing today about how proud I was that we passed the mid 80's in our progress toward our minimum funding goal but was blown away to discover that several new supporters yesterday pushed us all the way to 91%! But we're entering our last full week of this campaign and we still have a ways to go. We want to run, not limp, past the finish line. We are in full motion with the project, procuring materials (as discussed in earlier posts), getting permissions, and testing some of the new book scanning technology as if we already had all the funding! But to make it all a reality we have to keep pushing.

So that's what this is: the beginning of our final push. If you haven't already done so, please like our project on Facebook, share it there, put it on Twitter, tell some friends who share your passion for out-of-print books and other texts. This isn't only about us and our dream of making the ~Archive a part of our Institute. For many of you it's about establishing a way to find books you need, or think should be out there, and make them easily accessible. Thank you all for your support and let's make this final week our best week yet. 

Finally, an important message from "Europe":