Congratulations to Martha Howard and Joseph Adelman on the launch of Uncommon Sense—the blog and The Octo, the OI’s new online features. Partnerships of all kinds, with EMSI on the WMQ-EMSI annual workshops, the BGEAH to support their conferences, with the SEA to produce the 2015 joint conference, with the University of North Carolina Press to publish our books, of course with our founding sponsors the College of William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and now with the blogs featured on The Octo, are what have made the OI’s history so rich, and our current year so rewarding.
What a terrific year for our digital initiatives! Our goal at the beginning of 2014 was to employ more and better digital technologies to reach and serve early American scholars and scholarship–one of our first tasks was revitalizing our website. Then in the summer, Sid Lapidus made an incredibly generous gift that would let us do that and more—the Lapidus Initiative is dedicated to the values of excellent scholarship that have long characterized the OI, and to translating those values into digital practices.
With the support of the Lapidus Initiative and Adobe, we developed the OI Reader featuring the William and Mary Quarterly, the first academic journal on iTunes. We are excited about the potential for the OI Reader as a platform for digital humanities projects, as well as a better reflection of the digital materials now embedded in the journal’s scholarship.
We unveiled the MAP, an online resource for locating early American happenings. We have ventured into the blogosphere. And for 2015… well, one of our goals for the new year is to take stock of these new tools and how well they are serving you. We’ll be tweaking, adapting, revising, and updating. We would love to hear from you about your experiences and your preferences (we’ve already heard you on the OI Reader for Android, honest).
We also promise a few new features, such as the Scholars’ Workshop fellowships, another Lapidus Initiative project. Most importantly, we promise our unwavering commitment to supporting early American scholars and scholarship. Best representing and distributing the work that appears at OI conferences, and in the journal and our books, is the best reason for making the digital leap.
And in the new year I’ll be back to write more about Open Access, digital platforms for scholarly publishing, and the OI’s adventures in conferencing.