Following is a brief summary of the Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement (LCRM) project’s activities from June 2 to July 18. The LCRM project was able to finish filling out the staff for the project. The staff now includes: Sylvia Miller, the Director of the LCRM project, who joined the staff on June 2; Kenneth Reed, the Digital Production Specialist, who joined the staff on June 16; and Russ Damian, the Project Assistant, who joined the staff on July 21. The LCRM team also started brainstorming about what shape the team would like the project to take. The discussions about the shape of the project addressed the unprecedented opportunity at UNC Press to experiment to find a method of publishing that strikes a satisfactory balance between the values of traditional publishing and the values of open access to materials. An overarching goal that all partners in the LCRM project share is the wish to create an environment in which scholars at UNC and elsewhere can: access and discover published and primary-source content related to the long civil rights movement which is housed at UNC and elsewhere; communicate about the developing field of the Long Civil Rights Movement; collaborate to conduct, present, and analyze research; review and discuss it; and move it into a formal publication phase.
In order to achieve that goal, the LCRM team has begun taking its first steps in several areas. First, the LCRM team is beginning a preliminary inventory of LCRM-related content held by each project partner to learn what LCRM-related materials already exist in the partners’ holdings, to examine how the materials are stored and organized, and to allow the LCRM-team to begin to experiment in managing the LCRM-related content so that it can be made accessible to the public online using existing technologies. The LCRM project has been aided in the experiment of managing the LCRM-related content by drawing upon the existing Institutional Repository project at the UNC Library and other existing library resources. Second, in a related task, the LCRM team has begun exploring existing technologies that would allow the LCRM team to manage the LCRM-related content and allow the works of scholars to be easily adapted to various publishing platforms. Third, the Southern Oral History Program, under the guidance of its Director, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, has drafted a plan for the LCRM conference, which is to be held in April 2009 and the LCRM team has made efforts to combine this conference with the Center for Civil Rights conference on the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on the Louisville school system that is planned for the same week. Finally, the LCRM team has begun discussing potential publishing projects the LCRM team may undertake, including the idea of starting a new journal and creating new kinds of monographs and other scholarly communications.