New model for open access textbooks launched at the University

A new and wide-ranging open access e-textbook from Liverpool University Press and the University’s Library and Department of History has been launched entitled ‘Using Primary Sources’.

The e-textbook is now available, showcasing digitised archival material together with guides from leading experts that will enable students to use and interpret primary sources for their field of study.

Funded by JISC as part of its ‘The Institution as E-Textbook Publisher’ project, Using Primary Sources responds to the question ‘will the institution as e-textbook creator help students by providing a more affordable higher education, and promote a better, more sustainable information environment for libraries, students and faculty?’

Covering major themes within the medieval, early modern and modern periods, such as religion, ideas, conflict and class, this unique open access resource provides students with the opportunity to examine rare and original material including letters, photographs, legal documents, pamphlets, diaries and audio recordings. Accessible via computer, tablet or phone, Using Primary Sources will also demonstrate how students can integrate the source material into their own written work.

Professor Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Humanities and Social Sciences said: “Using Primary Sources is an example of how the University of Liverpool works collaboratively to enhance the student experience, providing a tailored pedagogical resource to meet student needs here in Liverpool but also freely available elsewhere under a University of Liverpool imprimatur.”

A great resource for tutors

Phil Sykes, University Librarian, said: “We are proud, here at the University of Liverpool Library to have been part of this remarkable initiative.

Using Primary Sources provides a great resource for tutors everywhere to enrich their teaching by introducing their students to the thrill of using original materials.”

Anthony Cond, Managing Director of Liverpool University Press, added: “Online pedagogical resources are becoming the domain of the largest commercial publishers, yet Using Primary Sources demonstrates the innate potential on campus – especially those campuses that house university presses –to generate high quality e-textbooks and drive down costs for students. This new e-textbook will be an important open access resource used by history students worldwide.”

A core team of six people from the University of Liverpool  — General Editor Dr Jonathan Hogg, LUP Editorial Director Alison Welsby, library staff Paul Catherall, Jenny Higham, Catherine McManamon and Emma Thompson – have been working on the project for three years.  A second project, Essentials for Financial Management authored by the Management School’s Jason Laws, will follow in due course.

Read an interview with editor, Jon Hogg, to find out more online:


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