“In 2014, an email went out over the Modernist Studies Association Listserv that asked, “can anyone recommend a complete anthology of modernist works?” Scholars and teachers have diverse needs in the classroom–and there is no single anthology (nor could there be) to fit the needs of every teacher of modernity. For decades, the coursepack has filled a niche in the academic environment to address this need: teachers compile a bespoke book of texts that are sent off the printer for students to purchase. But with rising publishing and copyright prices, these coursepacks become more and more expensive every year. This led to Open Modernisms asking: What if we built a site where teachers could create free coursepacks of out-of-copyright material? No fees, no printing costs for students, just a collaboratively built site where teachers and students could share, remix, and create free modernist reading resources.

The vast majority of the work hosted on OpenMods already exists in one form or another in collections such as the Internet Archive, the Modernist Journals Project, and Project Gutenberg. Where these sites feature only complete works, however, OpenMods breaks things down into useable pieces: rather than having to select a book of essays, users can select individual essays for their custom anthologies.

Open Modernisms is an open, Creative-Commons-licensed resource that allows teachers and scholars to build custom anthologies of out-of-copyright primary materials. It uses a custom-built Islandora module to host a library of documents from which users can select and rearrange in whatever order they like; add their own notes and introductory or contextualizing materials; and output in a numbered sequence of files for digital distribution and/or printing.

The site and its materials are open access, and the code for the site, based on already-existing open-source software, is hosted on Github for easy repurposing and distribution. The code can be adapted for any discipline. Create. Mix. Share.”

–Matt Huculak and Stephen Ross,

Project Details

Date: Apr 25, 2016

Author: Alan Stanley

Categories: project

Tagged: Development, Islandora, Creative Commons

Client: University of Victoria


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