A brief history of Manifold


In 2012, the CUNY Graduate Center’s Digital Scholarship Lab collaborated with the University of Minnesota Press and Cast Iron Coding to produce an interactive web edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities at dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu. The open-source platform presented the volume in an attractive, responsive design and allowed readers to comment and highlight passages of interest.


In 2015, based partly on the success and volume of engagement of the Debates site, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the University of Minnesota Press and the CUNY Graduate Center a three-year, $732,000 grant to create an abstracted version of the Debates platform.


Minnesota and the Graduate Center, in partnership with development agency Cast Iron Coding, released the beta version of Manifold in April 2017 and the version 1.0 release candidate in April 2018.


In April 2018, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the University of Minnesota Press and the CUNY Graduate Center a two-year grant of $789,000 to support a second phase of development for the Manifold platform.


The Manifold code repository on Github has received over two thousand commits. It has been favorited almost one hundred times.

What's Next?

Manifold 6.0 will arrive early in 2021 with a new analytics dashboard and the ability to deploy the application through a kubernetes strategy. Later in the spring, we’ll focus our energies on new functionality for journal publishing and creating a rich-text editor to foster more varied reader conversation. If all goes to plan, we’ll round out 2021 with new features for using Manifold in the classroom and code enhancements to ensure GDPR compliance.
See our development roadmapOpen eye


Manifold is a collaboration between the CUNY Graduate Center, the University of Minnesota Press, and Cast Iron Coding, and each group brings a unique perspective to the project: publishing, scholarship, and technology. Many people have contributed to Manifold since our project began in 2015.

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