February 7, 2012 — "Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson-Digital Edition," edited by scholars at the University of Virginia's Miller Center and published by U.Va. Press' Rotunda imprint, has won the American Association of Publishers' 2011 PROSE Award for "Best eProduct in the Humanities."
The awards seek to recognize the best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals and electronic content in more than 40 categories.
The LBJ Digital Edition features expertly annotated transcripts of hundreds of conversations from Johnson's secretly recorded tapes. The published collections focus on three key themes: Vietnam, Civil Rights and the War on Poverty. Readers can be a fly-on-the wall in the Oval Office, listening in on Johnson's secretly recorded telephone conversations with members of Congress as they grapple with escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam; with Martin Luther King Jr. about the struggle for civil rights; and with senior advisers about the War on Poverty.
The LBJ Digital Edition can be found online here.
Each conversation is transcribed, annotated and accompanied by audio. The conversations are searchable by topic, speaker, date, time and location. There is also a multimedia presentation that includes photo and video galleries and a timeline.
"We're very grateful to the Association for American Publishers for this award," said David G. Coleman, chair of the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program and an editor of the edition.
"It's a great honor and testament to the painstaking efforts of our remarkable group of scholars, staff and students who make up the Presidential Recordings Program. And it's testament also to the innovation and expertise by the superb team at the University of Virginia Press. We hope that our collaboration makes it possible for more people to access these remarkable and unique historical materials for themselves."
Besides Coleman, other editors include Kent B. Germany, Guian A. McKee and Marc J. Selverstone. They are part of a team of scholars at the Miller Center who are transcribing all of the secret White House tapes recorded by every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon.
A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission helped fund the LBJ Digital Edition.
The PROSE Award comes on the heels of "Choice" magazine, a leading publication for academic librarians, citing the LBJ Digital Edition an Outstanding Academic Title for 2011. Rotunda imprint was created for the publication of original digital scholarship along with newly digitized critical and documentary editions in the humanities and social sciences. The collection combines the originality, intellectual rigor and scholarly value of traditional peer-reviewed university press publishing with thoughtful technological innovation designed for scholars and students.