Tango began as a series of conversations between the NINES group and other parties around the issue of accessibility to out-of-print scholarly works copyrighted before the advent of the internet, but also about the future of books in general. The name for the project came from a conversation between Jerome McGann and Madelyn Wessel, our resident copyright expert. Publishers and scholars most learn how to tango together, quipped Wessel and the rest brings us here.
I joined NINES in the summer as one of their fellows along with Annie Swafford and Michael Pickard and we were immediately recruited to the Tango project. At the time, Jerome McGann, Andrew Stauffer and Dana Wheeles (@bluesaepe) were in the thick of brainstorming adequate solutions for these out-of-print scholarly works around the usual suspects: production, stewardship and copyright. In the absence of an umbrella institution that could coordinate these issues, the main question was how to resolve the problems in a way that would not depend on such an institution, but that would still revolve around a collectivity. What you see here is the result of our continued conversations and we offer them to the public with a healthy dose of both skepticism and drive. We encourage you to join our conversation.