University of Texas Press: Digitization of Backlist Titles to Bring New Life to University Press Archive

Keywords: books, conversion, ebooks, epub, XML


The University of Texas Press is a book and journal publisher of international scope, issuing works in a wide range of fields. The scholarly publisher remains committed to its beliefs that books matter; books educate; and publishing good books is a public responsibility and a valuable component of higher education.

The publishing program at the University of Texas Press presents the results of original research conducted across the United States and Latin America and in centers of learning throughout the world. In addition to academic subject matter, the press also publishes books of general interest for a wider audience on a variety of subjects, including history, current affairs, the visual arts, music, and food, among others.

Recognizing a wealth of information in its backlist, The University of Texas Press wanted to bring new life to this content and transform the archive into digital format.


Turnaround times were fantastic and we were happy with the quality of the results. The team was very responsive and excellent communicators. They contacted me immediately if there were problems with the files I submitted. Errors arise with any massive content initiative and when something went wrong, it didn’t stay wrong for long!
— Sharon L. Casteel Digital Publishing Manager, University of Texas Press

Cenveo Publisher Services partnered with the University of Texas Press on its backlist digitization project. The entire backlist of 2000 titles was converted to various eBook formats---ePub, Mobi, and print PDF. Due to limited print editions in the publisher’s vault, 400 titles were only available in hard copy format and required meticulous attention during the scanning process. The technology team from the Publishing Lab at Cenveo created and managed a cost-efficient transformation workflow while also accommodating special requests for particular titles such as special font and design requirements

On a monthly basis, source input files (image/normal PDF) or hardcopies were delivered to Cenveo’s offshore team in Mumbai, India. Upon successful and QA-tested conversion, files were returned to the publisher for digital distribution.


Within a short timespan, Cenveo Publisher Services digitized the library of legacy content and delivered three file formats (ePub, mobi, PDF) for each ebook.  Reinvigorated with a new digital life, the extensive backlist of titles is now available from the major online vendors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo) and digital libraries (Ebrary, Ebsco, OverDrive, 3M, JSTOR, and ProjectMuse). The University of Texas Press is discovering new revenue streams as a result of ebook distribution while remaining true to its mission and belief that books matter.