There 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 Toolkit, GREAT 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.