The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded University of California Press $722,000 last week to fund further exploration into the developing field of California Studies.

According to a statement from UC Press, the money will be used to create a journal and a working papers collection, and will also help host an annual conference welcoming scholars from various disciplines to examine the topic of California Studies.

Director Lynne Withey said in the release that the grant will allow UC Press to expand the breadth of scholarly communication between academics in California Studies field. The grant, Withey said, will also strengthen connections between California scholars and thus serve as a strong base from further research.

“We are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for fostering scholarship in California Studies at this critical moment,” Withey said. “We look forward to collaborating with our partners throughout the scholarly community to disseminate the results of the foundation’s investment to a wide and diverse international audience.”

The strategic initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation will span multiple UC campuses, the release said, and rely on the cooperation of a number of academic organizations from both inside and outside of the UC. Some of the groups that will work alongside UC Press to develop California Studies will be the UC Humanities Research Institute, the UC California Studies Consortium and the California Digital Library.

According to the release, the planned peer-reviewed UC Press journal of California Studies will be published in print and online. The very interdisciplinary focus on California Studies, David Theo Goldberg, director of the UCHRI said in the release, is critical to its success.

“This project is crucial to the long-term viability, stability, and expanding capacity of UC’s California Studies initiative to impact scholarship across a range of fields,” Goldberg said. “Furthermore, it is instrumental to reaching citizens and policymakers outside of academia, as well as communities beyond state borders.”