Fulcrum e-Reader Featured in New Video

by Charles Watkinson on September 30, 2017

A video posted on YouTube shows the Fulcrum e-reader in action for the first time. Fulcrum is a new platform being developed at Michigan to present monographic source materials in close connection to the narratives they support.

The book used to demonstrate the new e-reader is Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and other Media Paratexts by Jonathan Gray, a title originally published by New York University Press in print and commercial ebook form in 2010 and recently made available by the publisher as an open access title. As befits a volume about the media industry, the original book referenced many images and videos, static snapshots of which were displayed. NYUP has used the opportunity of a new open access edition to include live linking to the multimedia clips and zoomable versions of the static images. Readers can now watch accessible versions of the videos within an EPUB reader which are rendered from the Fulcrum “supplemental content” site where the archival versions are stored with enriched metadata, component usage stats and technical preservation data.

While the fact is invisible to users, the Fulcrum team at University of Michigan Press are in fact using NYUP’s book to experiment with two different EPUB readers: One, shown on the video, is based on EPUB.js from FuturePress and is being co-developed by University of Michigan Press and HathiTrust. The other, used on the NYUP Open Access site, is based on Readium and is being further developed by NYU Press and Libraries. Both University of Michigan Press and New York University Press are recipients of grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore how digital affordances can enrich the experiences of readers of academic books.

The Show Sold Separately sample demonstrates one more step en route to a truly integrated media experience for ebook readers. It also represents the collaborative way in which NYUP and UMP (both presses based in their respective library systems) are working together to enhance open source software.

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