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University Experts Lead Tutorial on E-Book Publishing

An introductory e-book workshop was held in Lamont Library.


Christopher MorseOn October 23, Harvard University Information Technology, Arts and Humanities Research Computing, the Academic Technology Group and Harvard Public Affairs and Communications led an introductory workshop on e-book publishing in Lamont Library.

Christopher Morse—of DARTH Crimson, Harvard’s Digital Arts and Humanities Team—was a lead organizer of the event. “We run workshops and consult with faculty members, students and staff on digital humanities projects and any digital research,” Morse said, mentioning that there is an upcoming tutorial session on how to start and manage a blog using WordPress. Morse said that there are many benefits to using electronic books in an academic setting: professors can tailor e-books to their exact curricula; e-books allow for more interactive reading; they make it easier to share information; and HarvardX makes use of e-book technology in many of its online courses. “It is especially useful for library staff to understand the technology because e-books are now used in libraries everywhere; it’s important for librarians to know how they’re created and how e-books are published and disbursed,” Morse said. 

Thomas Dodson, web developer for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications, explained the differences between e-books and PDFs, and explored the structure of an EPUB2.0 document, the most popular e-book format. Dodson additionally highlighted tools for viewing, editing and validating EPUBs, and showed participants how to author and distribute e-books.

Although Morse espouses the importance of knowing how to use electronic reading materials, he does not believe that they will replace traditional books. “The act of looking at physical archives and manuscripts is still very relevant to a lot of scholarship,” he said. “I believe that digital technology supplements—not supplants—traditional books.”

View the full list of presenters here.

View more upcoming DARTH Crimson events here.