The University of Minnesota Press with CUNY’s GC Digital Scholarship Lab and Cast Iron Coding announce the release of MANIFOLD 1.0.


Manifold was developed from the ground up to integrate the publication of media-rich, networked monographs into existing university publication workflows.

Press Release Date: 2018-03-30T05:00:00+00:00

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The University of Minnesota Press, in partnership with the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and digital development agency Cast Iron Coding (Portland, OR), are pleased to announce the release of Manifold, a free, open-source platform to publish and read networked, interactive, media-rich books online.

Manifold was developed from the ground up to integrate the publication of media-rich, networked monographs into existing university publication workflows. Publishers, and any group wanting to publish open-access works on the web, can quickly and easily turn existing files into online publications, through a robust ingestion system that can import texts from EPUB, HTML, Markdown, and Google Doc source files. Authors, working with their publisher, can easily enhance their projects with primary research documents and data, audio and video, links to archives, while engaging with readers and integrating social media conversations. Manifold also enables an iterative approach to publication so that authors can choose to share their work-in-progress as it develops.  

Doug Armato, Director of the University of Minnesota Press, says, “A goal of Manifold is to maintain professional scholarly publishing at the center of the emerging digital environment. We needed a scalable solution for media-rich monographs, social reading, faster digital publication, iterative and collaborative research and writing methods, as well as interoperability with digital humanities projects. We built Manifold with an eye toward the future when more and more scholars who publish print books will also want them to live, and be interacted with, on the internet.” 

Manifold is a mobile-friendly application that is compatible with all modern devices—smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops. Readers have a beautiful, deep reading experience that encourages discussion and fosters community with the integration of social media.

Four major beta versions of Manifold have been released to the public since development of the platform began in April 2015, culminating in Release 1.0 this week. Those wanting to install Manifold can find it at

During the three-year project, the Manifold team has spoken with university presses, institutes and centers, library publishing groups, and individual scholars, all who can use Manifold to publish the content produced by their group. Today there are three installations of Manifold, the University of Minnesota Press (, CUNY (, and the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University (, with the University of Arizona Press in the process of branding a Manifold installation to publish books for Open Arizona, an NEH and Andrew W. Mellon funded Open Book grant.

Kathryn Conrad, Director of the University of Arizona Press, says, “Manifold exceeds our expectations for publishing open-access content on the web, offering many additional features than we had originally envisioned for our publication platform. We look forward to launching Open Arizona, powered by Manifold, in the coming months.”

The Manifold team is currently focused on helping university presses and centers install the platform and on developing new features, including offering access-restricted use within classrooms or other small, private groups; serving a wider readership that includes people requiring assistive technology; and adding interoperability with other tools.

Manifold is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.