Presenting … Allison Brown, Milne’s Digital Publishing Services Manager

BrownAIt’s official — Allison Brown is Milne library’s new Digital Publishing Services Manager.  Allison was the successful candidate in last summer’s nationwide search to fill the newly-created position, bringing with her a proven track record of working with authors, navigating the publishing landscape, and producing a variety of publications.

Before you scratch your head too vigorously, wondering “But hasn’t Allison been here, doing that, long before this past summer?” — yes, she had been functioning as the digital publishing coordinator here in a temporary capacity for several years, and was instrumental in helping Milne build its publishing services from the ground up. The early projects, going back to 2012, include the Genesee Valley Historical Reprints Series (33 titles); Stuart Symington’s memoir, Tagging Along; and the first Proceedings of GREAT Day.

OpenSUNYTextbooksSince then, Allison has continued to produce more from Milne’s “press,” working closely with student groups, faculty, and emeriti at Geneseo and throughout SUNY. Among the current and ongoing projects she’s involved in is Open SUNY Textbooks,  for which she is project manager — working closely with authors and coordinating peer review, editing, and GDProceedingspublishing. She also continues to assist with production of the Proceedings of GREAT Day as well as advise for and coordinate publication of Gandy Dancer, the Geneseo-based, SUNY-wide student literary magazine edited by SUNY Geneseo students. With Gandy Dancer, Allison works closely with English professor Rachel Hall’s Editing & Production Workshop classes, both in and out of the classroom.

As Digital Publishing Services Manager, Allison manages to offer both publication assistance (production, project management, software training, etc.) to authors and experiential learning to the interns with whom she regularly works. She expects both areas to grow as more authors explore alternative publishing options, including open access (OA) publications and digital projects, and more students seek help with producing and managing their publications.

Allison earned a B.A. in English from Houghton College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. Prior to coming to Milne Library, she worked at Boston College’s library as a circulation desk assistant. Allison is an avid consumer of audio books since, she says, she seems to spend a lot of time in her car (much of it driving between her home in Rochester and work in Geneseo), and listening is a good way to use that time.

You can find Allison in her office (Milne 108) on the Library’s lower level, or contact her at [email protected] or 585-245-6020.

Historical Cookery Now Available

Reprints.Cook

Image credit: Warner’s Safe Cook Book

As part of the Genesee Valley Historical Reprint Series, Milne Library is pleased to share the release of 8 reprinted cookbooks originally published between 1817 and 1921. This collection may not be the best resource for everyday cooking in the modern kitchen, but if you want to know how to cook chicken soup (starting with choosing the unlucky bird!) and other little-known culinary tricks, these are the books for you.

Old cookbooks preserve otherwise lost culinary and household knowledge. Many of these reprinted books, which are largely put together by the members of institutions and societies local to the Geneseo area, include recipes and advice for removing stains, concocting cleaning agents, and creating curatives that many people may be glad to rediscover. Warner’s Safe Cook Book has a robust section of miscellanea which ranges from laundry (“To Clean Clothing,” “To Keep Furs,” and “Old Fruit Stains”), to first aid (“For Severe Sprains”), to smoothing irons and putting together a bouquet of herbs. The Genesee County Cook Book offers “Substituting for Wheat in Any Recipe,” and The Genesee Valley Cook Book contains a recipe for “Good Paste,” as well as for various lotions and creams.

Also illuminating to read are game recipes that used to be quite common but are now almost never seen, calling for creatures such as turtles, blackbirds, and squirrels. One might find it interesting to know that the old nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” speaks truth in the line “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,” for that is how many birds are needed in a Blackbird Pie!

More timeless, and contained in each of the eight cookbooks, are sections on jams, pickling, and preserving, which may be useful to cooks interested in canning or gardners with excess crops.

The cookbooks in the Genesee Valley Historical Collection, and in the Genesee Valley Historical Reprint Series, remind us of what life must have been like for women and their families during this time period, and how important and fortunate it was that they shared their wisdom in book form, when this wisdom otherwise was contained within families and communities and mainly passed on orally. My own reliance on the internet for simple cooking basics, or to learn something new, reminds me how lucky we are to have (often) free and easy access to this vast world of cultural and academic knowledge.

The books in the Genesee Valley Historical Reprint Series are available free online, through our website at go.geneseo.edu/omp.  The titles are also available for purchase through Amazon.com (with proceeds supporting Milne Library’s Special Collections), and the originals are available for the community to browse and check out at Milne Library.

~ written by Allison Brown

Library Publishes More Titles in its Genesee Valley Reprints Series

ReprintSeriesSept2013There are some items among Milne Library’s collections that just can’t be found in many book shops, or even in many libraries. Now, though, access to them is easy through the  Genesee Valley Historical Reprints Series, one of several publishing endeavors  Milne has undertaken in recent months, along with the Library Publishing ToolkitGREAT Day Proceedings, Tagging Along: Memories of My Grandfather, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr. (an original monograph), and the SUNY Open Textbooks initiative (the first two titles of which will be available in October).

The Library launched its reprints series last fall, and with it a publishing model that offers both for-profit sales and free downloads of scarce and unusual books selected from Milne’s special collections. To date, Milne has published eleven titles in the series and is adding more each week.  By the end of this fall, the series will be 30-40 titles strong. The range of subjects represented is broad and varied, and among the titles currently available through Amazon (for sale) and Open Monograph Press (free) are Recollections of Three Rebel Prisons, a memoir of local soldier G.G. Prey’s Civil War experience as a prisoner in the South; Rochester Through a Kodak, a “snapshot” of the Flower City in the late 1800s; and Recipes of Quality, one of several local early 20th century cookbooks offered in the series.

Besides breathing new life into older, hard to find, out of print titles – many of local interest — this new publishing venture aims to make some of Milne’s rarest and most interesting materials widely available, to preserve them in both electronic and print formats, and to develop efficient publishing services for the wider campus and community.