WWP The Project Newsletter Archive Volume 2, Number 2 Mellon Awards Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards WWP Grant

On June 20, 1996, the Trustees of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, awarded $400,000 to Brown University to help the Women Writers Project (WWP) evaluate the impact of introducing electronic versions of rare texts on the costs of learning and scholarly behavior, as compared to more traditional means of scholarship. The three-year award supports an initiative called "Renaissance Women Online" (RWO) designed to compare the economics of online delivery of a key group of important texts by women to the costs of delivering them by traditional means. The costs of preparation and use will be measured as the WWP prototypes electronic delivery over the Internet. The major goal of the RWO initiative is to evaluate the comparative economics of electronic and traditional delivery, with the two scenarios to be analyzed in detail and, where possible, compared quantitatively.

Upon completion of the RWO initiative, the WWP will offer electronic delivery of its textbase for access by universities, libraries and schools. Additionally the RWO initiative will support advanced functionality such as discipline-specific retrieval, navigation, viewing and analysis.

John Lavagnino, WWP's Textual Analyst, is the RWO's Project Coordinator. Evaluation will include quantitative data analysis and economic comparisons by Professor Walter Freiberger of Brown's Division of Applied Mathematics and Elli Mylonas of Brown's Scholarly Technology Group (STG). Professor Elizabeth Hageman of the University of New Hampshire will consult on text selection.

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