Nov. 2-8, 2001
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Press taps manager for new electronic imprint

By Robert Brickhouse

The University Press of Virginia has appointed Mick Gusinde-Duffy, an editor with wide-ranging experience in print and Internet publishing, to head its new electronic publishing program.

The program, supported by a $635,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon s Foundation and a matching amount from U.Va., will create the first electronic imprint devoted exclusively to publishing original, peer-reviewed digital scholarship in the humanities.

Gusinde-Duffy, formerly director of publishing at netLibrary, a startup Internet business in Boulder, Colo., “brings a wealth of accomplishments and experience as an editor and manager,” said Penelope Kaiserlian, director of the Virginia Press. “We look forward to having him join the press Nov. 1 and getting the electronic imprint off to a running start.”

The new electronic enterprise will publish large-scale scholarly projects that involve computerized humanities research and are created in digital format, not simply electronic versions of print books. Such digital projects exceed the capabilities of print and are able to include images of full archives of original source material and images in multimedia formats, offering further avenues of research. A well-known example is the award-winning “Valley of the Shadow” Civil War history project created by U.Va. historian and Arts & Sciences Dean Edward Ayers and recently published on digital disks by W.W. Norton.

In addition to netLibrary, Gusinde-Duffy has worked as an associate acquisitions editor at Westview Press in Boulder, an acquisitions editor at the University of Utah Press and an acquisitions manager at 29th Street Press in Loveland, Colo. He holds an M.A. in English, with a concentration in publication management, from Colorado State University and a B.A. in humanities and American Studies from Middlesex Polytechnic in London.

John Unsworth, director of U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and chair of the search committee that recommended Gusinde-Duffy, said that “he will be a great addition to the humanities computing community at the University. The active involvement of the University Press in that community will bring an important new perspective to bear on the digital humanities M.A. program and on the digital library programs here.”

Consulting with experts from the Darden graduate business school to develop the best business and cost-recovery models for the new enterprise, the press will aim to publish its first electronic work by spring 2003, Kaiserlian said. The press expects to publish several electronic projects a year in American history, American and British literature, archaeology and architecture. The electronic publications could be made available either on the Web or digital disks, or both, and could be produced in conjunction with a print book.

Gusinde-Duffy said he will look nationally and internationally for pioneering digital work that emphasizes both creative scholarship and innovative technology. Each project published will be approved by the press’s editorial board and will receive extensive peer review just as print publications do.

“With the wonderful technology resources within the University, this program offers the opportunity to explore the potential of electronic publishing more fully,” Gusinde-Duffy said. “The goal is to bring to digital scholarship the imprimatur of quality that a university press represents.”


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