Greg Cram and Kathleen Riegelhaupt, on the New York Public Library’s Scholarly Press Backlist Revival Project, which seeks to pry backlist books from out-of-print inaccessibility:

Since 2022, we have worked to develop a proof of concept in partnership with the University of Michigan Press, University of South Carolina Press, University of Massachusetts Press, and MIT Press. Called the “Scholarly Press Backlist Revival,” our project provides an alternative to tracking down individual contracts. The key — what we believe will allow us to scale this effort but remain well within the bounds of what we believe is fair and based on collaboration and consent — is asking presses to grant NYPL permission to make their books digitally available to the world not on a title-by-title basis, but on entire out-of-print backlist basis.

What a great idea: secure publisher permission to make these semi-abandoned books available, with the carrot that the publishers get free or very cheap digitized version which—should they choose—could be restored to the market. Two unnamed presses are already on board.