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“The Ethics of Suicide: Historical Sources” Book/Archive Launch

On October 5, the library celebrated the launch of Dr. Peggy Battin’s “The Ethics of Suicide: Historical Sources” digital archive and print volume, a partnership between Oxford University Press and the Marriott Library. The two versions—the condensed, print version and the full, digital Archive—are connected by QR codes maintained by the Marriott Library. If you have the print copy, you can use your smart phone or tablet to scan the code and connect to the Archive (you will need a QR-code scanning app, available for free), or simply type the URL into your browser.

The digital archive includes complete excerpts, links (where possible) to the full primary sources referenced in the book, and open library catalog records that point readers to local library holdings when the primary source is only available in print. Readers can search and browse by author, time period, keyword, intellectual tradition, or geographic region. Readers can also comment on the selections, submit corrections, and suggest new material to be considered for inclusion.

“This project is an unprecedented cooperative venture between a university library and a major university press, and it shows how the world of scholarship can benefit when scholars, librarians, and publishers work together. The Ethics of Suicide project shifts the paradigm of book publishing in a way that is tremendously exciting,” commented Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication at the J. Willard Marriott Library.

The event, which included a live archive search and a panel discussion, served as a celebratory capstone to the five-year process of building the archive. Congratulations to Associate Librarians Allyson Mower and Anne Morrow and to Brian McBride, Assistant Head, Applications Development.

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