Nominate New Board for the Digital Americanists

Dear Colleagues,

After a few years at the helm of the Digital Americanists, we three have agreed it is time for new leadership for the group. We were gratified to see the society grow and to organize several engaging sessions at the American Literature Association Conference during our tenure. We are grateful to all of you who have presented work or attended those sessions: DA is a wonderful community we are proud to have led.

Due to other commitments, however, it has been difficult of late for us to give the Digital Americanists the time and attention it requires. We are eager to welcome a completely revamped board who can revitalize the society’s vision and activities. In the past the primary duty of the Digital Americanists board has been to plan 1-2 guaranteed sessions for each year’s ALA Conference, but we encourage the new board to consider expanding the society’s mandate to other conferences and activities. The group’s grounding in the ALA gathering has perhaps unnecessarily restricted a group named the Digital Americanists to include only American literature scholars. In short, we need creative thinkers with vision for what such a group might be in 2016. 

To that end, we would like to accept nominations for all three board positions: president, vice president, and treasurer. In the past these positions have rotated on a three year term, so that someone elected to be treasurer would serve in each position in turn. Given this wholesale restructuring, however, we might suggest that the first group elected agree to serve two years before resuming the rotation—but this could be settled by the new board after their election.

To nominate someone for one of the society’s positions, please email Ryan Cordell at by February 15, 2016.


Matthew Wilkens (President)
Ryan Cordell (Vice President)
Matthew Lavin (Secretary/Treasurer)

Adrian Johns on digital readers and rare books

From a recent symposium at the Newberry, here’s Johns discussing the study of digitized rare books on his eBook reader. He draws some interesting parallels to the reading practices of early modern coffee houses. (The link to Johns’ piece is at 9:30 am on the schedule for the RLG Symposium:

TEI and AccessTEI

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) has just launched a new digitization program, AccessTEI. This program allows member institutions to outsource the transcription and basic structural encoding of source material (whether in print or manuscript, in any language, any sized job), at bulk prices with Apex Covantage, a leader in digitization outsourcing. The program features an easy-to-use web-based portal (

A current list of institutional members is at If your institution or project is not already a member, cost of membership varies from $100 to $5,000/year, depending on the size of the organization and the type of economy in which it is located. A membership application can be found at Pricing for AccessTEI services to TEI members can be found at

This program, which was developed with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is only one of the benefits available to members of the TEI. Member institutions are also eligible for significant discounts on XML software and site licences, and savings (usually over 50%) on workshops and conferences hosted by the TEI.