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U-M public domain works now online and searchable through Google Print

Posted: 11/30/2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan and Google, Inc. today announced that the first large collection of the University’s public domain books is now available online through Google Print (http://print.google.com/).

The Google Print Library project is an ambitious effort to digitize and index millions of books from the world’s foremost libraries, including almost 7 million volumes from the University of Michigan library. The digitization project will provide scholars and the general public with an unprecedented ability to search for and locate books from the University’s vast collection. Today’s offering encompasses a wide array of topics including colonial era travel guides, civil war documentation, government reports, and classic literature.

"Today, we welcome the world to our library," said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. "As educators we are inspired by the possibility of sharing these important works with people around the globe. Think of the doors it will open for students; geographical distance will no longer hamper research. Anyone with an Internet connection can search the text of and read the compelling narratives, historical accounts and classic works offered today, and in doing so access a world of ideas, knowledge and discovery."

Examples of the public domain works available today from U-M include:

Histories and travel accounts from the first 50 years of the republic and also some of the very first literature from those who called and thought of themselves as Americans. Examples include "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" from 1818; 10 volumes of "The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution"; and "The Emigrant’s Guide" from 1829, addressing "the taxpayers of England" and containing "information necessary to persons who are about to emigrate."

U.S. Civil War regimental histories from New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

"One of the reasons we are so committed to digitizing these works is that as a university library our core mission includes the preservation of knowledge," said James Hilton, associate provost and interim University librarian. "The digitization project not only allows broad access today, but also preserves our library’s collections for future generations."

"This is just the beginning," said John Wilkin, associate University librarian. "We look forward to even more works being available on-line. The pace of Google’s work is unprecedented."

Because public domain books are not under copyright, the full text is available through Google Print. Public domain books can be read in their entirety online and the full text of every book is searchable.

These are only a few of the many works available. In addition U-M, Google has partnered with Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford universities and the New York Public Library. For more information and to see images, please visit Google Print:

Sad News

Posted: 11/28/2005
It is with great sadness that we announce that Henk Van Woerden, our Visiting Dutch Writer, died November 16th. Our condolences go out to his family for this sudden and tragic loss.

Buzz Alexander wins U.S. honors

Posted: 11/28/2005
English professor wins U.S. honors
U-M's Buzz Alexander started creative arts project in prisons

Ann Arbor News
News Staff Reporter

A University of Michigan professor who developed a program that brings arts workshops into prisons has been named one of four Professors of the Year by two national education-related organizations.

Buzz Alexander, a professor in the English department, was selected for the honor by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Alexander accepted his award Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The organizations named four professors, one each from a community college, baccalaureate college, master's university or college and doctorate and research university, for the award. The award includes a $5,000 prize for each professor.

In 1990, Alexander started the Prison Creative Arts Project at U-M. The project conducts theater and poetry workshops in Michigan prisons, juvenile facilities and at some high schools. At U-M, Alexander teaches a course called Literature and Social Change, in which students work in the prison art workshops. The program also sponsors annual exhibitions of prisoners' art.

The program has conducted workshops in 20 Michigan prisons, Alexander said.

The fact that the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world motivated him to found the program, Alexander said.

"I believe in social justice,'' he said. "When something like this happens, (I) want to be there.''

Alexander himself continues to work in prisons along with his students.

"It's just a very, very rich place to work because people are ready to learn,'' Alexander said.

Emily Harris, one of Alexander's former students, is one of three people who nominated him for the award. The U-M provost office made the official nomination.

"For me, he was the first educator that I had who really trusted me to make up my own mind about what I believe,'' Harris said.

Rae Goldsmith, vice president for communication and marketing at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, said Alexander's ability to get students involved in the prison arts program was part of the reason he got the award.

"It is the innovative approach he uses to engage students,'' Goldsmith said.

John Mulcahy can be reached at jmulcahy@annarbornews.com or (734) 994-6858.


Multimedia on the English Website

Posted: 10/20/2005
A new and, what we expect to be, rapidly expanding multimedia section has just been added to our website. Here you will be able to listen to a wide range of authors and speakers being interviewed, reading from their work, and more. Visit the link below for more information:

Recent Publications

Posted: 10/20/2005
Anne Curzan’s textbook, How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, co-written with Michael Adams (a Michigan B.A. and Ph.D.), has just been published by Pearson Longman.

Ifeoma Nwankwo’s Black Cosmopolitanism: Racial Consciousness, National Identity, and Transnational Ideology in the Americas has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in its Rethinking the Americas Series.

Alisse Portnoy’s Their Right to Speak: Women, Removal, Colonization, Abolition has just been published by Harvard University Press.

Xiomara Santamarina’s Belabored Professions: Autobiography and Black Women's Labor has just been published by the University of North Carolina Press.

For more recent publications follow the link below:

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