Just as museums need support to launch exhibitions and dance companies seek funding to commission new works, so does the development of new Library of America editions and education initiatives require underwriting.
Library of America currently offers over 300 editions of important literary and historical works, issuing fifteen to twenty new titles every year. However, there are a great many important works of American writing that we cannot afford to publish without contributed subsidies from our supporters.
The development of each Library of America edition requires extensive textual research, scholarly editing and creation of contextual notes, and other editorial features for the reader; acquisition of rights from estates and other copyright holders; and the very highest production values found in books that typically cost far more. Given the modest price of our volumes, sales revenue does not cover these publishing expenses.
Among the significant projects that Library of America cannot put into development without your help are:
- An unprecedented gathering of Black writers from America’s founding era, 1760–1800
- A selection from Henry David Thoreau’s incomparable journals
- A collection of the writings of Margaret Fuller, leading feminist intellectual during the nineteenth century
- A major two-volume anthology dedicated to the nineteenth-century American short story
- A collection of the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim
- An anthology of plays by twentieth-century American women playwrights
and many other timeless works by novelists, poets, playwrights, essayists, journalists, and notable historical figures.
New Ways to Explore American Writing
Other initiatives in development—including educational resources and teacher training, web-based events on literary and historical topics, and digital community building—will greatly increase the audience for our written heritage. But we cannot fully realize these projects without your participation.
Individual and institutional donors help to defray Library of America’s project expenses by providing support for a specific volume or initiative. These donors are motivated to contribute because they appreciate the importance of America’s enduring writing and they wish to join us in celebrating that writing in myriad ways: in schools and libraries, with general readers and scholars, at live events and streamable podcasts.
Donors are recognized on a special acknowledgment page in the front of a volume they have supported, in our annual report, on our website, and at live events, although some choose to remain anonymous.
You can join us as a champion of exceptional American writing with a gift of project support.