ACLS History E-Book Project
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 About the Project 

Subscription Information

 Subscribing Institutions

Title List

Description of the History E-Book Project
The ACLS Review Board
The Project Directors
The History E-Book Project Center
Why the Electronic History Book?
The Electronic (E-) Book: The New History?
The Participating ACLS Learned Societies
Title Selection
The Author
The Presses
Working with the University Presses
Contractual Arrangements
E-Book Preparation
The Digital Library Production Service
Publication of the History E-Book
Marketing Plan
Subscriptions, Pricing and License to the History E-Book Project
Monitoring Access
Site Updates


E-Book Preparation

ACLS History E-Book Specifications

ACLS History E-Book Proofing Guidelines

The Tagged E-Book

The Project has developed specifications for the new books that are being included in the History E-Book Project. These specifications will enable presses, authors and/or vendors to provide all electronic files for text, charts, maps and other files in a format that can be published online in a time- and cost-efficient manner. These specifications show how these files should be coded or tagged in XML (extensible mark-up language) according to the DTD (document-type definition) that was developed from TEI Lite (Text Encoding Initiative) DTD with the help of SPO. The specifications are available online at:

Once the The History E-Book Project Center receives these files, it can test them to be sure they conform to the DTD and our specifications. If they do, these files can then be launched for review. Presses have a specific timeframe for reviewing files to be sure they perform correctly and correspond to the intended text and structure. To make the task of reviewing straightforward and at the same time to insure that important considerations are not overlooked during the review process, the Project has developed a set of guidelines for proofing. These can be found at:

The Electronic Manuscript

While most historians today work with a variety of computers and programs - word processing, database, spreadsheet, even perhaps graphics and web-authoring packages - the special requirements of web-based and other electronic-format books require new approaches in the production process that are described under the Section The History E-Book Project Center.

The editing of an e-book varies from the traditional model of print books in certain ways. As early as possible in the production process, the author is asked to provide the Project Directors with a title "map," that is, a verbal and/or visual key to the structure of the electronic project as the author conceives it. This is then reviewed by the Project Center for general issues of practicality and viability to determine if the structure outlined by the author is compatible with the parameters set by the Project. The author is also asked to indicate on the manuscript and in the electronic files the "hot spots" and other hyperlinks and to indicate the destinations of these links. The actual process of entering these and other stylistic and structural directions in the electronic file is generally called "tagging." The Project Center works closely with the in-house editor on these issues and is always available to offer advice and general approaches to this work to both the author and the in-house editor.

Depending upon the author's experience with hypertext and interactive projects, he or she might also be able to suggest to the in-house editors, or to work out with the Project Directors, the form of transitions, layout, and deeper structures from among a template menu of possibilities provided by the History E-Book Project Center. Please bear in mind, however, that as with all standard publishing contracts, final decisions on these matters of design and approach are conditioned by a wide variety of factors, including scheduling, budget, and the needs and experience of authors and readers. The actual tagging of the project may be completed at the participating press, or- in rare cases - at the History E-Book Project Center. In addition, all matters of such design and presentation, pricing, and marketing are generally the province of the publisher: i.e., university press (for the print version) along with the History E-Book Project for the electronic book.

To sum up: once the manuscript (and electronic files) have completed the acquisitions, review, and editorial process at the university press, including content and copy editing, proof reading, the author's indications for tagging, and the assembly of the complete art package, the work is then ready to proceed to the next step in the production process: the History E-Book Project Center.

rev. 3/10/03

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The ACLS History E-Book Project
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