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Newfound Press: Digital Imprint of The University of Tennessee Libraries
Linda L. Phillips

Last modified: 2007-07-14


Academic libraries are committed to connecting their clientele and relevant information resources in all publication venues and formats. A library digital press offers scholars the potential to disseminate their work to a wide audience, regardless of the specialized nature of the content.

The University of Tennessee Libraries Newfound Press ( began in 2004 to develop a framework for making peer reviewed scholarly and specialized works available worldwide. In collaboration with authors and researchers Newfound Press advances the community of learning by experimenting with effective and open systems of scholarly communication to bring new forms of publication to an expanding scholarly universe. Building on local digitization investments, our vision is to consider works in all disciplines, encompassing scientific research, humanistic scholarship, and artistic creation.

Benchmarks in Newfound Press development include the appointment of an Advisory Board that helped to refine its initial vision and scope. The Advisory Board sponsored a survey of UT community interest in digital multimedia that elicited more than 80 responses from faculty across the universitys spectrum of disciplines who expressed their support for the digital press. In 2005 Newfound Press published Goodness Gracious, Miss Agnes: Patchwork of Country Living by Lera Knox who recalls her life in middle Tennessee from pioneer days at the beginning of the 20th century through the early years of her marriage and career as a newspaper reporter from 1933 to 1965. A companion volume containing Knoxs newspaper columns is forthcoming. An award winning English translation of Grimmelshausens German picaresque novel, Simplicissimus, will be published during 2007. Newfound Press is also hosting a new online journal, Gamut, for the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic. Newfound Press and the editor, a professor of music at UT, received a campus grant to support web design, the purchase of software to produce visual images of musical notation, and student hours for production. An Editorial Board formed in late 2006 is considering proposals to publish a monograph containing a bibliography of Southern sermon manuscripts, and several conference proceedings on topics that include the writer Cormac McCarthy; an interdisciplinary conference, Democracy and Tradition, featuring author Jeffrey Stout; immigration; global studies; and the sociologist, Arthur Vidich. The conference proposals offer multimedia opportunities for merging text, images, audio and video recordings.

Many issues require resolution. Sustainable funding for Newfound Press will enable planning for projects to which the Press can commit during a given period. Documentation must be written for proposal submission, the selection and acceptance process, manuscript tracking, and permissions statements. Because Newfound Press publishes works in any discipline, a process for identifying peer reviewers on the fly must be created. Recognizing the value of tools like those being developed by the Public Knowledge Project, Newfound Press services link to publication resources for journal editors and other scholars, such as the PKP Open Journal Systems.

This is an exciting time to launch a new digital press. There is much to be done. If every research library worldwide were to provide similar services, access to scholarship could become more transparent than ever before. The University of Tennessee hopes that other libraries will build upon our experiences to expand open access online publishing throughout the world.


Digital publishing; University of Tennessee Libraries Newfound Press; Scholarly communications; Open access publishing

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