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Oxford University Press (OUP) is the
university press200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which used to be the headquarters of Cambridge University Press, and now serves as a conference centre for the Press. A university press is an academic publishing house specializing in monographs and scholarly jo ...
of
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (as of 31 July 2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor = The Lord Patten of Barnes , vice_chancellor = Louise Richa ...
. It is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (CUP) is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the oldest university press in the world. It is also the Queen's Printer. Cambridge Universit ...
. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the vice-chancellor known as the delegates of the press. They are headed by the secretary to the delegates, who serves as OUP's chief executive and as its major representative on other university bodies. Oxford University Press has had a similar governance structure since the 17th century. The Press is located on
Walton Street Walton Street is on the eastern edge of the Jericho district of central Oxford, England. Overview The street runs north from the western end of Beaumont Street and the northern end of Worcester Street by the main entrance of Worcester College. ...
, Oxford, opposite
Somerville College Somerville College is a constituent college of England's University of Oxford. Founded in 1879 as Somerville Hall, it was one of Oxford's first two women's colleges. Among its alumnae have been Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Dorothy Hodgkin, I ...
, in the inner suburb of
Jericho Jericho (; ar, أريحا ' ; he, יְרִיחוֹ ') is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. It is located in the Jordan Valley, with the Jordan River to the east and Jerusalem to the west. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governor ...
.


Early history

The university became involved in the print trade around 1480, and grew into a major printer of Bibles, prayer books, and scholarly works. OUP took on the project that became the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
'' in the late 19th century, and expanded to meet the ever-rising costs of the work. As a result, the last hundred years has seen Oxford publish further English and bilingual dictionaries, children's books, school textbooks, music, journals, the World's Classics series, and a range of English language teaching texts. Moves into international markets led to OUP opening its own offices outside the United Kingdom, beginning with New York City in 1896. With the advent of computer technology and increasingly harsh trading conditions, the Press's printing house at Oxford was closed in 1989, and its former paper mill at
Wolvercote Wolvercote is a village that is part of the City of Oxford, England. It is about northwest of the city centre, on the northern edge of Wolvercote Common, which is itself north of Port Meadow and adjoins the River Thames. History The Domesday Bo ...
was demolished in 2004. By contracting out its printing and binding operations, the modern OUP publishes some 6,000 new titles around the world each year. The first printer associated with Oxford University was
Theoderic RoodTheoderic (Theodoric or Theodericus) Rood was a printer of incunabula at Oxford, England. His activities in the city can be dated with any certainty only to the years 1481 and 1482, but probably extend between around 1481 and 1484. Several earlier pr ...
. A business associate of
William Caxton William Caxton (c. 1422 – c. 1491) was an English merchant, diplomat, and writer. He is thought to be the first person to introduce a printing press into England, in 1476, and as a printer was the first English retailer of printed books. Neith ...
, Rood seems to have brought his own wooden printing press to Oxford from
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the fourth-most populous city in Germany. With 3.6 million people in the urban region and 1.1 million inhabitants ...
as a speculative venture, and to have worked in the city between around 1480 and 1483. The first book printed in Oxford, in 1478, an edition of Rufinus's ''Expositio in symbolum apostolorum'', was printed by another, anonymous, printer. Famously, this was mis-dated in Roman numerals as "1468", thus apparently pre-dating Caxton. Rood's printing included John Ankywyll's ''Compendium totius grammaticae'', which set new standards for teaching of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such const ...
. After Rood, printing connected with the university remained sporadic for over half a century. Records of surviving work are few, and Oxford did not put its printing on a firm footing until the 1580s; this succeeded the efforts of
Cambridge University#REDIRECT University of Cambridge#REDIRECT University of Cambridge#REDIRECT University of Cambridge {{R from other capitalization ... {{R from other capitalization ...
{{R from other capitalization ...
, which had obtained a licence for its press in 1534. In response to constraints on printing outside London imposed by
the Crown The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as Crown dependencies, overseas territories, provinces, or states). Legally ill-defined, the term has different meaning ...
and the
Stationers' Company The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers (until 1937 the Worshipful Company of Stationers), usually known as the Stationers' Company, is one of the livery companies of the City of London. The Stationers' Company was formed in 14 ...
, Oxford petitioned
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Sometimes called the Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the Hou ...
for the formal right to operate a press at the university. The
chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii'' of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the ''cancelli'' or lattice work ...
,
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, (24 June 1532 – 4 September 1588) was an English statesman and the favourite of Elizabeth I from her accession until his death. He was a suitor for the Queen's hand for many years. Dudley's youth was ove ...

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
, pleaded Oxford's case. Some royal assent was obtained, since the printer Joseph Barnes began work, and a decree of
Star Chamber The Star Chamber (Latin: ''Camera stellata'') was an English court which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late to the mid-17th century (c. 1641), and was composed of Privy Counsellors and common-law judges, to supplement the judici ...
noted the legal existence of a press at "the universitie of Oxforde" in 1586.


17th century: William Laud and John Fell

Oxford's chancellor,
Archbishop In many Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England ...
William Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a clergyman in the Church of England, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I in 1633. A key advocate of Charles's religious reforms, he was arrested by Parliament in 1640, and exec ...

William Laud
, consolidated the legal status of the university's printing in the 1630s. Laud envisaged a unified press of world repute. Oxford would establish it on university property, govern its operations, employ its staff, determine its printed work, and benefit from its proceeds. To that end, he petitioned
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288– ...

Charles I
for rights that would enable Oxford to compete with the Stationers' Company and the
King's Printer The Queen's Printer (known as King's Printer during the reign of a male monarch) is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the Queen-in-Council, ministers of the C ...
, and obtained a succession of royal grants to aid it. These were brought together in Oxford's "Great Charter" in 1636, which gave the university the right to print "all manner of books". Laud also obtained the "privilege" from the Crown of printing the
King James
King James
or
Authorized Version The King James Version (KJV), also known as the King James Bible (KJB), sometimes as the English version of 1611, or simply the Version (AV), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, commissioned in 1604 an ...
of
Scripture Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from literary texts by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, mythologies, ritual practices, commandments or laws, ethical conduct, spiritual aspirations, and for crea ...
at Oxford. This "privilege" created substantial returns in the next 250 years, although initially it was held in abeyance. The Stationers' Company was deeply alarmed by the threat to its trade and lost little time in establishing a "Covenant of Forbearance" with Oxford. Under this, the Stationers paid an annual rent for the university not to exercise its full printing rights – money Oxford used to purchase new printing equipment for smaller purposes. Laud also made progress with internal organization of the Press. Besides establishing the system of Delegates, he created the wide-ranging supervisory post of "Architypographus": an academic who would have responsibility for every function of the business, from print shop management to
proofreading Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to find and correct production errors of text or art. Proofreading is the final step in the editorial cycle before publication. Professional Traditional metho ...
. The post was more an ideal than a workable reality, but it survived (mostly as a
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin ''sine'' 'without' and ''cura'' 'care') is an office, carrying a salary or otherwise generating income, that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. The term originated in the mediev ...
) in the loosely structured Press until the 18th century. In practice, Oxford's
Warehouse A warehouse is a building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial parks on the outskirts of cities, towns ...

Warehouse
-Keeper dealt with sales, accounting, and the hiring and firing of print shop staff. Laud's plans, however, hit terrible obstacles, both personal and political. Falling foul of political intrigue, he was executed in 1645, by which time the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom. It was ...
had broken out. Oxford became a
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of governme ...
stronghold during the conflict, and many printers in the city concentrated on producing political pamphlets or sermons. Some outstanding mathematical and
Orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in 'an Orientalist painting' or '-painter') *''The Orientalist'', a biography of author L ...
works emerged at this time—notably, texts edited by
Edward Pococke Edward Pococke (baptised 8 November 160410 September 1691) was an English Orientalist and biblical scholar. Early life He was the son of clergyman from Chieveley in Berkshire, and was educated at Lord Williams's School of Thame in Oxfordshire an ...

Edward Pococke
, the
Regius Professor A Regius Professor is a university professor who has, or originally had, royal patronage or appointment. They are a unique feature of academia in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The first Regius Professorship was in the field of medicine, and fo ...
of
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the only Canaanite language still spoken and the only tru ...
—but no university press on Laud's model was possible before the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. It was finally established by the vice-chancellor, John Fell,
Dean Dean may refer to: People * Dean (given name) * Dean (surname), a surname of Anglo-Saxon English origin * Dean (South Korean singer), a stage name for singer Kwon Hyuk * Dean Delannoit, a Belgian singer most known by the mononym Dean Title * Dea ...
of
Christ Church Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianit ...
, Bishop of Oxford, and Secretary to the Delegates. Fell regarded Laud as a
martyr A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, ''mártys'', "witness"; stem μαρτυρ-, ''martyr-'') is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded ...
, and was determined to honour his vision of the Press. Using the provisions of the Great Charter, Fell persuaded Oxford to refuse any further payments from the Stationers and drew all printers working for the university onto one set of premises. This business was set up in the cellars of the new
Sheldonian Theatre The Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, England, was built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the University at the time and the project ...
, where Fell installed printing presses in 1668, making it the university's first central print shop. A type foundry was added when Fell acquired a large stock of typographical punches and matrices from the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Du ...
—the so-called " Fell Types". He also induced two Dutch typefounders, Harman Harmanz and Peter de Walpergen, to work in Oxford for the Press. Finally, defying the Stationers' demands, Fell personally leased the right to print from the university in 1672, in partnership with Thomas Yate, Principal of Brasenose, and Sir Leoline Jenkins, Principal of Jesus College. Fell's scheme was ambitious. Besides plans for academic and religious works, in 1674 he began to print a
broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common newspaper formats include the smaller Berliner and tabloid–compact formats. Description Many broadsheets measure roughly ...
calendar, known as the ''Oxford Almanack''. Early editions featured symbolic views of Oxford, but in 1766 these gave way to realistic studies of the city or university. The ''Almanacks'' have been produced annually without interruption from Fell's time to the present day. Following the start of this work, Fell drew up the first formal programme for the university's printing. Dating from 1675, this document envisaged hundreds of works, including the Bible in
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor of ...
, editions of the Coptic Gospels and works of the
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers who established the intellectual and doctrinal foundations of Christianity. The historical peri ...

Church Fathers
, texts in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Wats ...
and Syriac, comprehensive editions of
classical philosophy This page lists some links to ancient philosophy, namely philosophical thought extending as far as early post-classical history (c. 600 CE). Overview Genuine philosophical thought, depending upon original individual insights, arose in many cult ...
, poetry, and mathematics, a wide range of
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
scholarship, and also "a history of insects, more perfect than any yet Extant." Though few of these proposed titles appeared during Fell's life, Bible printing remained at the forefront of his mind. A full variant Greek text of
Scripture Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ from literary texts by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, mythologies, ritual practices, commandments or laws, ethical conduct, spiritual aspirations, and for crea ...
proved impossible, but in 1675 Oxford printed a
quarto Title page of the first quarto edition of Shakespeare's ''Midsummer Night's Dream'', 1600, from the Folger_Shakespeare_Library">Midsummer_Night's_Dream'',_1600,_from_the_Folger_Shakespeare_Library Quarto_(abbreviated_Qto,_4to_or_4º)_is_a_book_o ...
King James edition, carrying Fell's own textual changes and spellings. This work only provoked further conflict with the Stationers' Company. In retaliation, Fell leased the university's Bible printing to three rogue Stationers,
Moses Pitt Moses Pitt (c. 1639–1697) was a bookseller and printer known for the production of his ''Atlas'' of the world, a project supported by the Royal Society, and in particular by Christopher Wren. He is also known as the author of ''The Cry of the ...
, Peter Parker, and
Thomas Guy Thomas Guy (1644 – 27 December 1724) was a British bookseller, investor, member of Parliament, and the founder of Guy's Hospital, London. Early life Thomas Guy was the eldest child of a lighterman, coalmonger, and carpenter, born in Southwark, ...

Thomas Guy
, whose sharp commercial instincts proved vital to fomenting Oxford's Bible trade. Their involvement, however, led to a protracted legal battle between Oxford and the Stationers, and the litigation dragged on for the rest of Fell's life. He died in 1686.


18th century: Clarendon Building and Blackstone

Yate and Jenkins predeceased Fell, leaving him with no obvious heir to oversee the print shop. As a result, his will left the partners' stock and lease in trust to Oxford University, and charged them with keeping together "my founding Materialls of the Press." Fell's main trustee was the Delegate
Henry Aldrich Henry Aldrich (1647 – 14 December 1710) was an English theologian, philosopher, and composer. Life Aldrich was educated at Westminster School under Dr Richard Busby. In 1662, he entered Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1689 was made Dean in suc ...
, Dean of Christ Church, who took a keen interest in the decorative work of Oxford's books. He and his colleagues presided over the end of Parker and Guy's lease, and a new arrangement in 1691 whereby the Stationers leased the whole of Oxford's printing privilege, including its unsold scholarly stock. Despite violent opposition from some printers in the Sheldonian, this ended the friction between Oxford and the Stationers, and marked the effective start of a stable university printing business. In 1713, Aldrich also oversaw the Press moving to the
Clarendon Building The Clarendon Building is an early 18th-century neoclassical building of the University of Oxford. It is in Broad Street, Oxford, England, next to the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre and near the centre of the city. It was built between ...
. This was named in honour of Oxford University's Chancellor,
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (18 February 16099 December 1674), was an English statesman, lawyer, diplomat and historian who served as chief advisor to Charles I during the First English Civil War, and Lord Chancellor to Charles II from 1 ...
. Oxford lore maintained its construction was funded by proceeds from his book ''The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England'' (1702–04). In fact, most of the money came from Oxford's new Bible printer John Baskett—and the Vice-Chancellor
William Delaune William Delaune D.D. (14 April 1659 – 23 May 1728) was an English clergyman and academic, President of St John's College, Oxford, and chaplain to Queen Anne. Life Delaune was son of Benjamin Delaune of London, England, by Margaret, daughter of Ge ...
defaulted with much of the proceeds from Clarendon's work. In any event, the result was
Nicholas Hawksmoor Nicholas Hawksmoor (probably 1661 – 25 March 1736) was an English architect. He was a leading figure of the English Baroque style of architecture in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Hawksmoor worked alongside the principal ...
's beautiful but impractical structure beside the Sheldonian in Broad Street. The Press worked here until 1830, with its operations split into the so-called ''Learned Side'' and ''Bible Side'' in different wings of the building. Generally speaking, the early 18th century marked a lull in the Press's expansion. It suffered from the absence of any figure comparable to Fell, and its history was marked by ineffectual or fractious individuals such as the Architypographus and antiquary Thomas Hearne, and the flawed project of Baskett's first Bible, a gorgeously designed volume strewn with misprints, and known as the Vinegar Bible after a glaring typographical error in St. Luke. Other printing during this period included
Richard Allestree Richard Allestree or Allestry ( ; 1621/2 – 28 January 1681) was an English Royalist churchman and provost of Eton College from 1665. Life The son of Robert Allestree, descended from an old Derbyshire family, he was born at Uppington in Shropshi ...
's contemplative texts, and
Thomas Hanmer Sir Thomas Hanmer, 4th Baronet (24 September 1677 – 7 May 1746) was Speaker of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1714 to 1715, discharging the duties of the office with conspicuous impartiality. His second marriage was the subject of ...
's six-volume edition of
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatists. He is often called England' ...

Shakespeare
, (1743–44). In retrospect, these proved relatively minor triumphs. They were products of a university press that had come to embody increasing muddle, decay, and corrupt practice, and relied increasingly on leasing of its Bible and prayer book work to survive. The business was rescued by the intervention of a single Delegate,
William Blackstone Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, judge and Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the ''Commentaries on the Laws of England''. Born into a middle-class family in ...
. Disgusted by the chaotic state of the Press, and antagonized by the
Vice-Chancellor A chancellor is a leader of a college or university, usually either the executive or ceremonial head of the university or of a university campus within a university system. In most Commonwealth and former Commonwealth nations, the chancellor is ...
George Huddesford Rev. George Huddesford (1749–1809) was a painter and a satirical poet in Oxford. Huddesford published a number of works. His first work was described by Fanny Burney as a "vile poem" as it revealed that she had written the novel, ''Evelina''. ...
, Blackstone subjected the print shop to close scrutiny, but his findings on its confused organization and sly procedures met with only "gloomy and contemptuous silence" from his colleagues, or "at best with a languid indifference." In disgust, Blackstone forced the university to confront its responsibilities by publishing a lengthy letter he had written to Huddesford's successor, Thomas Randolph in May 1757. Here, Blackstone characterized the Press as an inbred institution that had given up all pretence of serving scholarship, "languishing in a lazy obscurity … a nest of imposing mechanics." To cure this disgraceful state of affairs, Blackstone called for sweeping reforms that would firmly set out the Delegates' powers and obligations, officially record their deliberations and accounting, and put the print shop on an efficient footing. Nonetheless, Randolph ignored this document, and it was not until Blackstone threatened legal action that changes began. The university had moved to adopt all of Blackstone's reforms by 1760. By the late 18th century, the Press had become more focused. Early
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is ...

copyright
law had begun to undercut the Stationers, and the university took pains to lease out its Bible work to experienced printers. When the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
deprived Oxford of a valuable market for its Bibles, this lease became too risky a proposition, and the Delegates were forced to offer
shares In financial markets, a share is a unit used as mutual funds, limited partnerships, and real estate investment trusts. Share capital refers to all of the shares of an enterprise. The owner of shares in the company is a shareholder (or stockholder ...
in the Press to those who could take "the care and trouble of managing the trade for our mutual advantage." Forty-eight shares were issued, with the university holding a controlling interest. At the same time, classical scholarship revived, with works by Jeremiah Markland and
Peter Elmsley Peter Elmsley (born Hampstead, London, 5 February 1774 – died Oxford, 8 March 1825) was an English classical scholar. Early life and education Peter Elmsley was the younger son of Alexander Elmsley of St Clement Danes, Westminster, who had S ...
, as well as early 19th-century texts edited by a growing number of academics from mainland Europe – perhaps the most prominent being
August Immanuel Bekker August Immanuel Bekker (21 May 17857 June 1871) was a German philologist and critic. Biography Born in Berlin, Bekker completed his classical education at the University of Halle under Friedrich August Wolf, who considered him as his most promisi ...
and
Karl Wilhelm Dindorf Karl Wilhelm Dindorf ( la, Guilielmus Dindorfius; 2 January 1802 – 1 August 1883) was a German classical scholar. He was born and died at Leipzig. From his earliest years he showed a strong taste for classical studies, and after completing F. In ...
. Both prepared editions at the invitation of the
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor of ...
scholar
Thomas Gaisford Thomas Gaisford (22 December 17792 June 1855) was an English classical scholar and clergyman. He served as Dean of Christ Church from 1831 until his death. Early life Gaisford was born at Iford Manor, Wiltshire, and educated at Hyde Abbey School ...
, who served as a Delegate for 50 years. During his time, the growing Press established distributors in London, and employed the bookseller Joseph Parker in
Turl Street Turl Street is a historic street in central Oxford, England. Location The street is located in the city centre, linking Broad Street at the north and High Street at the south. It intersects with Brasenose Lane to the east, and Market Street a ...
for the same purposes in Oxford. Parker also came to hold shares in the Press itself. This expansion pushed the Press out of the Clarendon building. In 1825 the Delegates bought land in Walton Street. Buildings were constructed from plans drawn up by Daniel Robertson and
Edward Blore Edward Blore (13 September 1787 – 4 September 1879) was a 19th-century (Victorian and pre-Victorian) British landscape and architectural artist, architect and antiquary. Early career He was born in Derby, the son of the antiquarian writer ...
, and the Press moved into them in 1830. This site remains the main office of OUP in the 21st century, at the corner of
Walton Street Walton Street is on the eastern edge of the Jericho district of central Oxford, England. Overview The street runs north from the western end of Beaumont Street and the northern end of Worcester Street by the main entrance of Worcester College. ...
and
Great Clarendon Street Great Clarendon Street is one of the principal thoroughfares of the Jericho district of Oxford, England, an inner suburb northwest of the centre of the city. At the northeast end of the street is a junction with Walton Street. Opposite is Freu ...
, northwest of Oxford city centre.


19th century: Price and Cannan

The Press now entered an era of enormous change. In 1830, it was still a
joint-stock A joint-stock company is a business entity in which shares of the company's stock can be bought and sold by shareholders. Each shareholder owns company stock in proportion, evidenced by their shares (certificates of ownership). Shareholders are ...
printing business in an academic backwater, offering learned works to a relatively small readership of scholars and clerics. The Press was the product of "a society of shy hypochondriacs," as one historian put it. Its trade relied on mass sales of cheap Bibles, and its Delegates were typified by Gaisford or
Martin Routh Martin Joseph Routh (18 September 175522 December 1854) was an English classical scholar and President of Magdalen College, Oxford (1791–1854). Early life at Oxford Routh was born at South Elmham, Suffolk, England. Routh matriculated at The ...
. They were long-serving classicists, presiding over a learned business that printed 5 or 10 titles each year, such as Liddell and Scott's '' Greek-English Lexicon'' (1843), and they displayed little or no desire to expand its trade. Steam power for printing must have seemed an unsettling departure in the 1830s. At this time,
Thomas Combe Thomas Combe (1796–1872) was an English printer, publisher and patron of the arts. He was 'Printer to the University' at Oxford University Press, and was also a founder and benefactor of St Barnabas Church, near the Press in Jericho and close to ...

Thomas Combe
joined the Press and became the university's Printer until his death in 1872. Combe was a better business man than most Delegates, but still no innovator: he failed to grasp the huge commercial potential of
India paper 250 px, The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica boasted of its India paper printing India paper is a type of paper which from 1875 has been based on bleached hemp and rag fibres, that produced a very thin, tough opaque white paper. It has a basis weight of ...
, which grew into one of Oxford's most profitable trade secrets in later years. Even so, Combe earned a fortune through his shares in the business and the acquisition and renovation of the bankrupt paper mill at Wolvercote. He funded schooling at the Press and the endowment of St. Barnabas Church in Oxford. Combe's wealth also extended to becoming the first patron of the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (later known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, James Co ...
, and he and his wife Martha bought most of the group's early work, including ''The Light of the World'' by
William Holman Hunt File:Hunt-AwakeningConscience1853.jpg">''The Awakening Conscience'' (1853) William Holman Hunt (2 April 1827 – 7 September 1910) was an English painter and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His paintings were notabl ...
. Combe showed little interest, however, in producing fine printed work at the Press. The most well-known text associated with his print shop was the flawed first edition of ''
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (commonly shortened to ''Alice in Wonderland'') is an 1865 novel by English author Lewis Carroll (the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson). It tells of a young girl named Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into ...
'', printed by Oxford at the expense of its author
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and its sequel ''Through the Looking-Glass''. ...

Lewis Carroll
(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in 1865. It took the 1850
Royal Commission A royal commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue in some monarchies. They have been held in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia. A royal commission is similar i ...
on the workings of the university and a new Secretary,
Bartholomew Price Reverend Bartholomew Price (181829 December 1898) was an English mathematician, clergyman and educator. Life He was born at Coln St Denis, Gloucestershire, in 1818. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, of which college (after taking a first ...
, to shake up the Press. Appointed in 1868, Price had already recommended to the university that the Press needed an efficient executive officer to exercise "vigilant superintendence" of the business, including its dealings with Alexander Macmillan, who became the publisher for Oxford's printing in 1863 and in 1866 helped Price to create the Clarendon Press series of cheap, elementary school books – perhaps the first time that Oxford used the Clarendon imprint. Under Price, the Press began to take on its modern shape. By 1865 the Delegacy had ceased to be 'perpetual,' and evolved into five perpetual and five junior posts filled by appointment from the university, with the Vice Chancellor a Delegate ex officio: a hothouse for factionalism that Price deftly tended and controlled. The university bought back shares as their holders retired or died. Accounts' supervision passed to the newly created Finance Committee in 1867. Major new lines of work began. To give one example, in 1875, the Delegates approved the series ''Sacred Books of the East'' under the editorship of
Friedrich Max MüllerFriedrich may refer to: Names *Friedrich (surname), people with the surname ''Friedrich'' *Friedrich (given name), people with the given name ''Friedrich'' Other *Friedrich (board game), a board game about Frederick the Great and the Seven Years' W ...
, bringing a vast range of religious thought to a wider readership. Equally, Price moved OUP towards publishing in its own right. The Press had ended its relationship with Parker's in 1863 and in 1870 bought a small London bindery for some Bible work. Macmillan's contract ended in 1880, and wasn't renewed. By this time, Oxford also had a London warehouse for Bible stock in
Paternoster Row Paternoster Row was a street in the City of London that was a centre of the London publishing trade, with booksellers operating from the street. Paternoster Row was described as "almost synonymous" with the book trade. It was part of an area also ...
, and in 1880 its manager Henry Frowde (1841–1927) was given the formal title of Publisher to the University. Frowde came from the book trade, not the university, and remained an enigma to many. One obituary in Oxford's staff magazine ''The Clarendonian'' admitted, "Very few of us here in Oxford had any personal knowledge of him." Despite that, Frowde became vital to OUP's growth, adding new lines of books to the business, presiding over the massive publication of the
Revised Version The Revised Version (RV) or English Revised Version (ERV) of the Bible is a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version. It was the first and remains the only officially authorised and recognised revision of the King James Version ...
of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianit ...
in 1881 and playing a key role in setting up the Press's first office outside Britain, in New York City in 1896. Price transformed OUP. In 1884, the year he retired as Secretary, the Delegates bought back the last shares in the business. The Press was now owned wholly by the university, with its own paper mill, print shop, bindery, and warehouse. Its output had increased to include school books and modern scholarly texts such as
James Clerk Maxwell James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for ...

James Clerk Maxwell
's ''A Treatise on Electricity & Magnetism'' (1873), which proved fundamental to Einstein's thought. Simply put, without abandoning its traditions or quality of work, Price began to turn OUP into an alert, modern publisher. In 1879, he also took on the publication that led that process to its conclusion: the huge project that became the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
'' (OED). Offered to Oxford by James Murray and the
Philological Society The Philological Society, or London Philological Society, is the oldest learned society in Great Britain dedicated to the study of language as well as a registered charity. The current Society was established in 1842 to "investigate and promote t ...
, the "New English Dictionary" was a grand academic and patriotic undertaking. Lengthy negotiations led to a formal contract. Murray was to edit a work estimated to take 10 years and to cost approximately £9,000. Both figures were wildly optimistic. The Dictionary began to appear in print in 1884, but the first edition was not completed until 1928, 13 years after Murray's death, at a cost of around £375,000. This vast financial burden and its implications landed on Price's successors. The next Secretary struggled to address this problem. Philip Lyttelton Gell was appointed by the Vice-Chancellor
Benjamin Jowett Benjamin Jowett (, modern variant ; 15 April 1817 – 1 October 1893) was an influential tutor and administrative reformer in the University of Oxford, a theologian, an Anglican cleric, and a translator of Plato and Thucydides. He was Master of B ...

Benjamin Jowett
in 1884. Despite his education at Balliol and a background in London publishing, Gell found the operations of the Press incomprehensible. The Delegates began to work around him, and the university finally dismissed Gell in 1897. The Assistant Secretary, Charles Cannan, took over with little fuss and even less affection for his predecessor: "Gell was always here, but I cannot make out what he did." Cannan had little opportunity for public wit in his new role. An acutely gifted classicist, he came to the head of a business that was successful in traditional terms but now moved into uncharted terrain. By themselves, specialist academic works and the undependable Bible trade could not meet the rising costs of the Dictionary and Press contributions to the
University ChestThe University Chest is a term used at the University of Oxford in connection with the financial aspects of the university and its administration. There has traditionally been an actual chest, an iron box that can be locked and used for storage.Jan M ...
. To meet these demands, OUP needed much more revenue. Cannan set out to obtain it. Outflanking university politics and inertia, he made Frowde and the London office the financial engine for the whole business. Frowde steered Oxford rapidly into popular literature, acquiring the World's Classics series in 1906. The same year saw him enter into a so-called "joint venture" with
Hodder & Stoughton Hodder & Stoughton is a British publishing house, now an imprint of Hachette. History Early history The firm has its origins in the 1840s, with Matthew Hodder's employment, aged 14, with Messrs Jackson and Walford, the official publisher for ...
to help with the publication of children's literature and medical books. Cannan insured continuity to these efforts by appointing his Oxford protégé, the Assistant Secretary Humphrey S. Milford, to be Frowde's assistant. Milford became Publisher when Frowde retired in 1913, and ruled over the lucrative London business and the branch offices that reported to it until his own retirement in 1945. Given the financial health of the Press, Cannan ceased to regard scholarly books or even the Dictionary as impossible liabilities. "I do not think the University can produce enough books to ruin us," he remarked. His efforts were helped by the efficiency of the print shop.
Horace Hart Horace Henry Hart (1840 – 9 October 1916) was an English printer and biographer. He was the author of ''Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers'', first issued in 1893. Biography Hart was born in Suffolk in 1840; his father was a shoemaker ...
was appointed as Controller of the Press at the same time as Gell, but proved far more effective than the Secretary. With extraordinary energy and professionalism, he improved and enlarged Oxford's printing resources, and developed ''
Hart's Rules ''Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford''—today published under the short title ''New Hart's Rules''—is an authoritative reference book and style guide published in England by Oxford University Press (OUP). ...
'' as the first style guide for Oxford's proofreaders. Subsequently, these became standard in print shops worldwide. In addition, he suggested the idea for the
Clarendon Press InstituteThe Clarendon Institute (or the Clarendon Press Institute) is a building in Walton Street, central Oxford, England. In 1891, Horace Hart (1840–1916) of the Clarendon Press (now Oxford University Press) proposed an institute to provide a place prov ...
, a social club for staff in Walton Street. When the Institute opened in 1891, the Press had 540 employees eligible to join it, including apprentices. Finally, Hart's general interest in printing led to him cataloguing the "Fell Types", then using them in a series of Tudor and
Stuart Stuart may refer to: Names *Stuart (name), a given name and surname (and list of people with the name) Automobile *Stuart (automobile) Places Australia Generally *Stuart Highway, connecting South Australia and the Northern Territory Northern T ...
facsimile volumes for the Press, before ill health led to his death in 1915. By then, OUP had moved from being a parochial printer into a wide-ranging, university-owned publishing house with a growing international presence.


London business

Frowde regularly remitted money back to Oxford, but he privately felt that the business was undercapitalized and would pretty soon become a serious drain on the university's resources unless put on a sound commercial footing. He himself was authorized to invest money up to a limit in the business but was prevented from doing so by family troubles. Hence his interest in overseas sales, for by the 1880s and 1890s there was money to be made in India, while the European book market was in the doldrums. But Frowde's distance from the Press's decision-making meant he was incapable of influencing policy unless a Delegate spoke for him. Most of the time Frowde did whatever he could within the mandate given him by the Delegates. In 1905, when applying for a pension, he wrote to J. R. Magrath, the then Vice Chancellor, that during the seven years when he had served as manager of the Bible Warehouse the sales of the London Business had averaged about £20,000 and the profits £1,887 per year. By 1905, under his management as Publisher, the sales had risen to upwards of £200,000 per year and the profits in that 29 years of service averaged £8,242 per year.


Conflict over secretaryship

Price, trying in his own way to modernize the Press against the resistance of its own historical inertia, had become overworked and by 1883 was so exhausted as to want to retire. Benjamin Jowett had become vice chancellor of the university in 1882. Impatient of the endless committees that would no doubt attend the appointment of a successor to Price, Jowett extracted what could be interpreted as permission from the delegates and headhunted Philip Lyttelton Gell, a former student acolyte of his, to be the next secretary to the delegates. Gell was making a name for himself at the publishing firm of
Cassell, Petter and Galpin Cassell & Co is a British book publishing house, founded in 1848 by John Cassell (1817–1865), which became in the 1890s an international publishing group company. In 1995, Cassell & Co acquired Pinter Publishers. In December 1998, Cassell & Co ...
, a firm regarded as scandalously commercial by the delegates. Gell himself was a patrician who was unhappy with his work, where he saw himself as catering to the taste of "one class: the lower middle", and he grasped at the chance of working with the kind of texts and readerships OUP attracted. Jowett promised Gell golden opportunities, little of which he actually had the authority to deliver. He timed Gell's appointment to coincide with both the Long Vacation (from June to September) and the death of Mark Pattison, so potential opposition was prevented from attending the crucial meetings. Jowett knew the primary reason why Gell would attract hostility was that he had never worked for the Press nor been a delegate, and he had sullied himself in the city with raw commerce. His fears were borne out. Gell immediately proposed a thorough modernising of the Press with a marked lack of tact, and earned himself enduring enemies. Nevertheless, he was able to do a lot in tandem with Frowde, and expanded the publishing programmes and the reach of OUP until about 1898. Then his health broke down under the impossible work conditions he was being forced to endure by the Delegates' non-cooperation. The delegates then served him with a notice of termination of service that violated his contract. However, he was persuaded not to file suit and to go quietly. The delegates were not opposed primarily to his initiatives, but to his manner of executing them and his lack of sympathy with the academic way of life. In their view the Press was, and always would be, an association of scholars. Gell's idea of "efficiency" appeared to violate that culture, although subsequently a very similar programme of reform was put into practice from the inside.


20th–21st century

Charles Cannan, who had been instrumental in Gell's removal, succeeded Gell in 1898, and Humphrey S. Milford, his younger colleague, effectively succeeded Frowde in 1907. Both were Oxford men who knew the system inside out, and the close collaboration with which they worked was a function of their shared background and worldview. Cannan was known for terrifying silences, and Milford had an uncanny ability, testified to by Amen House employees, to 'disappear' in a room rather like a
Cheshire cat The Cheshire Cat ( or ) is a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll in ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and known for its distinctive mischievous grin. While now most often used in ''Alice''-related contexts, the association of a "Ches ...
, from which obscurity he would suddenly address his subordinates and make them jump. Whatever their reasons for their style of working, both Cannan and Milford had a very hardnosed view of what needed to be done, and they proceeded to do it. Indeed, Frowde knew within a few weeks of Milford's entering the London office in 904that he would be replaced. Milford, however, always treated Frowde with courtesy, and Frowde remained in an advisory capacity till 1913. Milford rapidly teamed up with J. E. Hodder Williams of
Hodder and Stoughton Hodder & Stoughton is a British publishing house, now an imprint of Hachette. History Early history The firm has its origins in the 1840s, with Matthew Hodder's employment, aged 14, with Messrs Jackson and Walford, the official publisher for ...
, setting up what was known as the Joint Account for the issue of a wide range of books in education, science, medicine and also fiction. Milford began putting in practice a number of initiatives, including the foundations of most of the Press's global branches.


Development of overseas trade

Milford took responsibility for overseas trade almost at once, and by 1906 he was making plans to send a traveller to India and the Far East jointly with Hodder and Stoughton. N. Graydon (first name unknown) was the first such traveller in 1907, and again in 1908 when he represented OUP exclusively in India, the Straits and the Far East. A.H. Cobb replaced him in 1909, and in 1910 Cobb functioned as a travelling manager semi-permanently stationed in India. In 1911, E. V. Rieu went out to East Asia via the
Trans-Siberian Railway The Trans–Siberian Railway (TSR) ( rus, Транссибирская магистраль, r=Transsibirskaya magistral', p=trənsʲsʲɪˈbʲirskəjə məgʲɪˈstralʲ) is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East. With a ...
, had several adventures in China and Russia, then came south to India and spent most of the year meeting educationists and officials all over India. In 1912, he arrived again in
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay , the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to the United Nations, as of 2018, Mumbai is the second-most populous city in the country after Delhi and the ...

Bombay
, now known as Mumbai. There he rented an office in the dockside area and set up the first overseas Branch. In 1914, Europe was plunged into turmoil. The first effects of the war were paper shortages and losses and disturbances in shipping, then quickly a dire lack of hands as the staff were called up and went to serve on the field. Many of the staff including two of the pioneers of the Indian branch were killed in action. Curiously, sales through the years 1914 to 1917 were good and it was only towards the end of the war that conditions really began pinching. Rather than bringing relief from shortages, the 1920s saw skyrocketing prices of both materials and labour. Paper especially was hard to come by, and had to be imported from South America through trading companies. Economies and markets slowly recovered as the 1920s progressed. In 1928, the Press's imprint read 'London, Edinburgh,
Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city population of 633,120 in 2019, is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom (as of 2011), as well as being the 27th lar ...

Glasgow
, Leipzig, Toronto, Melbourne,
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is the largest city of the Wester ...
, Bombay,
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the city is approximately west of the border with Bangladesh. It is ...
,
Madras Chennai (, ; also known as Madras, the official name until 1996) is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the largest cultural, economic and educational centres of sou ...
and Shanghai'. Not all of these were full-fledged branches: in Leipzig there was a depot run by H. Bohun Beet, and in Canada and Australia there were small, functional depots in the cities and an army of educational representatives penetrating the rural fastnesses to sell the Press's stock as well as books published by firms whose agencies were held by the Press, very often including fiction and light reading. In India, the Branch depots in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta were imposing establishments with sizable stock inventories, for the Presidencies themselves were large markets, and the educational representatives there dealt mostly with upcountry trade. The Depression of 1929 dried profits from the Americas to a trickle, and India became 'the one bright spot' in an otherwise dismal picture. Bombay was the nodal point for distribution to the Africas and onward sale to Australasia, and people who trained at the three major depots moved later on to pioneer branches in Africa and South East Asia. The Press's experience of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
was similar to
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", i ...
except that Milford was now close to retirement and 'hated to see the young men go'. The
London blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term "Blitzkrieg", the German word for 'lightning war'. Th ...
this time was much more intense and the London Business was shifted temporarily to Oxford. Milford, now extremely unwell and reeling under a series of personal bereavements, was prevailed upon to stay till the end of the war and keep the business going. As before, everything was in short supply, but the U-boat threat made shipping doubly uncertain, and the letterbooks are full of doleful records of consignments lost at sea. Occasionally an author, too, would be reported missing or dead, as well as staff who were now scattered over the battlefields of the globe. DORA, the
Defence of the Realm Act The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) was passed in the United Kingdom on 8 August 1914, four days after it entered the First World War and was added to as the war progressed. It gave the government wide-ranging powers during the war, such as the po ...
, required the surrender of all nonessential metal for the manufacture of armaments, and many valuable
electrotype Electrotyping (also galvanoplasty) is a chemical method for forming metal parts that exactly reproduce a model. The method was invented by Moritz von Jacobi in Russia in 1838, and was immediately adopted for applications in printing and several ot ...
plates were melted down by government order. With the end of the war Milford's place was taken by Geoffrey Cumberlege. This period saw consolidation in the face of the breakup of the Empire and the post-war reorganization of the Commonwealth. In tandem with institutions like the
British Council British Council building in Hong Kong, alt= The British Council is a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities. It works in over 100 countries: promoting a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom a ...
, OUP began to reposition itself in the education market.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o ((IPA: nɡʊɡi wá ðiɔŋɔ ); born James Ngugi; 5 January 1938) is a Kenyan writer and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social cri ...
in his book ''Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedom'' records how the Oxford Readers for Africa with their heavily Anglo-centric worldview struck him as a child in Kenya. The Press has evolved since then to be one of the largest players in a globally expanding scholarly and reference book market.


North America

The North American branch was established in 1896 at 91
Fifth Avenue Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It stretches north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive streets in the wor ...
in New York City primarily as a distribution branch to facilitate the sale of Oxford Bibles in the United States. Subsequently, it took over marketing of all books of its parent from Macmillan. Its very first original publication, ''The Life of Sir
William Osler Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet, (; July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a Canadian physician and one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, ...
'', won the
Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made h ...
in 1926. Since that time, OUP USA published fourteen more Pulitzer Prize–winning books. The North American branch grew in sales between 1928 and 1936, eventually becoming one of the leading university presses in the United States. It is focused on scholarly and reference books, Bibles, and college and medical textbooks. In the 1990s, this office moved from 200 Madison Avenue (a building it shared with Putnam Publishing) to 198 Madison Avenue, the former B. Altman and Company Building.


South America

In December 1909 Cobb returned and rendered his accounts for his Asia trip that year. Cobb then proposed to Milford that the Press join a combination of firms to send commercial travellers around South America, to which Milford in principle agreed. Cobb obtained the services of a man called Steer (first name unknown) to travel through Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and possibly other countries as well, with Cobb to be responsible for Steer. Hodder & Stoughton opted out of this venture, but OUP went ahead and contributed to it.


Indian branch

When OUP arrived on Indian shores, it was preceded by the immense prestige of the ''
Sacred Books of the East The ''Sacred Books of the East'' is a monumental 50-volume set of English translations of Asian religious texts, edited by Max Müller and published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It incorporates the essential sacred texts o ...
'', edited by
Friedrich Max MüllerFriedrich may refer to: Names *Friedrich (surname), people with the surname ''Friedrich'' *Friedrich (given name), people with the given name ''Friedrich'' Other *Friedrich (board game), a board game about Frederick the Great and the Seven Years' W ...
, which had at last reached completion in 50 ponderous volumes. While actual purchase of this series was beyond the means of most Indians, libraries usually had a set, generously provided by the government of India, available on open reference shelves, and the books had been widely discussed in the Indian press. Although there had been plenty of criticism of them, the general feeling was that Max Müller had done India a favour by popularising ancient Asian (
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by ...

Persia
n, Arabic, Indian and Sinic) philosophy in the West. This prior reputation was useful, but the Indian Branch was not primarily in Bombay to sell Indological books, which OUP knew already sold well only in America. It was there to serve the vast educational market created by the rapidly expanding school and college network in British India. In spite of disruptions caused by war, it won a crucial contract to print textbooks for the
Central Provinces The Central Provinces was a province of British India. It comprised British conquests from the Mughals and Marathas in central India, and covered parts of present-day Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra states. Its capital was Nagpur. ...
in 1915 and this helped to stabilize its fortunes in this difficult phase. E. V. Rieu could not longer delay his callup and was drafted in 1917, the management then being under his wife Nellie Rieu, a former editor for the '' Athenaeum'' 'with the assistance of her two British babies.' It was too late to have important electrotype and stereotype plates shipped to India from Oxford, and the Oxford printing house itself was overburdened with government printing orders as the empire's propaganda machine got to work. At one point non-governmental composition at Oxford was reduced to 32 pages a week. By 1919, Rieu was very ill and had to be brought home. He was replaced by Geoffrey Cumberlege and
Noel CarringtonNoel Carrington (1895 – April 11th, 1989) was an English book designer, editor, publisher, and the originator of Puffin Books. He was the author of books on design and on recreation and also worked for Oxford University Press and Penguin Books. In ...
. Noel was the brother of
Dora Carrington Dora de Houghton Carrington (29 March 1893 – 11 March 1932), known generally as Carrington, was an English painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton ...
, the artist, and even got her to illustrate his ''Stories Retold'' edition of ''
Don Quixote ''The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha'' (Modern Spanish: (in Part 2, '' caballero'') , ), or just (, ;Oxford English Dictionary,Don Quixote , ), is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It was originally published in two parts, ...
'' for the Indian market. Their father Charles Carrington had been a railway engineer in India in the nineteenth century. Noel Carrington's unpublished memoir of his six years in India is in the Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library. By 1915 there were makeshift depots at Madras and Calcutta. In 1920, Noel Carrington went to Calcutta to set up a proper branch. There he became friendly with Edward John Thompson, Edward Thompson who involved him in the abortive scheme to produce the 'Oxford Book of Bengali Verse'. In Madras, there was never a formal branch in the same sense as Bombay and Calcutta, as the management of the depot there seems to have rested in the hands of two local academics.


East and South East Asia

OUP's interaction with this area was part of their mission to India, since many of their travellers took in East and South East Asia on their way out to or back from India. Graydon on his first trip in 1907 had travelled the 'Straits Settlements' (largely the Federated Malay States and Singapore), China, and Japan, but was not able to do much. In 1909, A. H. Cobb visited teachers and booksellers in Shanghai, and found that the main competition there was cheap books from America, often straight reprints of British books. The copyright situation at the time, subsequent to the Chace Act of 1891, was such that American publishers could publish such books with impunity although they were considered contraband in all British territories. To secure copyright in both territories publishers had to arrange for simultaneous publication, an endless logistical headache in this age of steamships. Prior publication in any one territory forfeited copyright protection in the other. The Press had problems with Henzell, who were irregular with correspondence. They also traded with Edward Evans, another Shanghai bookseller. Milford observed, 'we ought to do much more in China than we are doing' and authorized Cobb in 1910 to find a replacement for Henzell as their representative to the educational authorities. That replacement was to be Miss M. Verne McNeely, a redoubtable lady who was a member of the SPCK, Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and also ran a bookshop. She looked after the affairs of the Press very capably and occasionally sent Milford boxes of complimentary cigars. Her association with OUP seems to date from 1910, although she did not have exclusive agency for OUP's books. Bibles were the major item of trade in China, unlike India where educational books topped the lists, even if Oxford's lavishly produced and expensive Bible editions were not very competitive beside cheap American ones. Japan was a much less well-known market to OUP, and a small volume of trade was carried out largely through intermediaries. The Maruzen company was by far the largest customer, and had a special arrangement regarding terms. Other business was routed through H. L. Griffiths, a professional publishers' representative based in Sannomiya, Kobe. Griffiths travelled for the Press to major Japanese schools and bookshops and took a 10 percent commission. Edmund Blunden had been briefly at the University of Tokyo and put the Press in touch with the university booksellers, Fukumoto Stroin. One important acquisition did come from Japan, however: A. S. Hornby's ''Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Advanced Learner's Dictionary''. It also publishes textbooks for the primary and secondary education curriculum in Hong Kong. The Chinese-language teaching titles are published with the brand Keys Press (啟思出版社).


Africa

Some trade with East Africa passed through Bombay. Following a period of acting mostly as a distribution agent for OUP titles published in the UK, in the 1960s OUP Southern Africa started publishing local authors, for the general reader, but also for schools and universities, under its Three Crowns Books imprint. Its territory includes Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, as well as South Africa, the biggest market of the five. OUP Southern Africa is now one of the three biggest educational publishers in South Africa, and focuses its attention on publishing textbooks, dictionaries, atlases and supplementary material for schools, and textbooks for universities. Its author base is overwhelmingly local, and in 2008 it entered into a partnership with the university to support Mandela Rhodes Scholarship, scholarships for South Africans studying postgraduate degrees.


Establishment of Music Department

Prior to the twentieth century, the Press at Oxford had occasionally printed a piece of music or a book relating to musicology. It had also published the ''Yattendon Hymnal'' in 1899 and, more significantly, the first edition of ''The English Hymnal'' in 1906, under the editorship of Percy Dearmer and the then largely unknown Ralph Vaughan Williams. Sir William Henry Hadow's multi-volume ''Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford History of Music'' had appeared between 1901 and 1905. Such musical publishing enterprises, however, were rare: "In nineteenth-century Oxford the idea that music might in any sense be educational would not have been entertained",Sutcliffe p. 210 and few of the Delegates or former Publishers were themselves musical or had extensive music backgrounds. In the London office, however, Milford had musical taste, and had connections particularly with the world of church and cathedral musicians. In 1921, Milford hired Hubert J. Foss, originally as an assistant to Educational Manager V. H. Collins. In that work, Foss showed energy and imagination. However, as Sutcliffe says, Foss, a modest composer and gifted pianist, "was not particularly interested in education; he was passionately interested in music." When shortly thereafter Foss brought to Milford a scheme for publishing a group of essays by well-known musicians on composers whose works were frequently played on the radio, Milford may have thought of it as less music-related than education-related. There is no clear record of the thought process whereby the Press would enter into the publishing of music for performance. Foss's presence, and his knowledge, ability, enthusiasm, and imagination may well have been the catalyst bringing hitherto unconnected activities together in Milford's mind, as another new venture similar to the establishment of the overseas branches.Hinnells p. 6 Milford may not have fully understood what he was undertaking. A fiftieth anniversary pamphlet published by the Music Department in 1973 says that OUP had "no knowledge of the music trade, no representative to sell to music shops, and—it seems—no awareness that sheet music was in any way a different commodity from books." However intentionally or intuitively, Milford took three steps that launched OUP on a major operation. He bought the Anglo-French Music Company and all its facilities, connections, and resources. He hired Norman Peterkin, a moderately well-known musician, as full-time sales manager for music. And in 1923, he established as a separate division the Music Department, with its own offices in Amen House and with Foss as first Musical Editor. Then, other than general support, Milford left Foss largely to his own devices. Foss responded with incredible energy. He worked to establish "the largest possible list in the shortest possible time",Oxford p. 6 adding titles at the rate of over 200 a year; eight years later there were 1,750 titles in the catalogue. In the year of the department's establishment, Foss began a series of inexpensive but well edited and printed choral pieces under the series title "Oxford Choral Songs". This series, under the general editorship of W. G. Whittaker, was OUP's first commitment to the publishing of music for performance, rather than in book form or for study. The series plan was expanded by adding the similarly inexpensive but high-quality "Oxford Church Music" and "Tudor Church Music" (taken over from the Carnegie UK Trust); all these series continue today. The scheme of contributed essays Foss had originally brought to Milford appeared in 1927 as the ''Heritage of Music'' (two more volumes would appear over the next thirty years). Percy Scholes's ''Listener's Guide to Music'' (originally published in 1919) was similarly brought into the new department as the first of a series of books on music appreciation for the listening public. Scholes's continuing work for OUP, designed to match the growth of broadcast and recorded music, plus his other work in journalistic music criticism, would be later comprehensively organized and summarized in the ''Oxford Companion to Music''. Perhaps most importantly, Foss seemed to have a knack for finding new composers of what he regarded as distinctively Music of the United Kingdom, English music, which had broad appeal to the public. This concentration provided OUP two mutually reinforcing benefits: a niche in music publishing unoccupied by potential competitors, and a branch of music performance and composition that the English themselves had largely neglected. Hinnells proposes that the early Music Department's "mixture of scholarship and cultural nationalism" in an area of music with largely unknown commercial prospects was driven by its sense of cultural philanthropy (given the Press's academic background) and a desire to promote "national music outside the German mainstream." In consequence, Foss actively promoted the performance and sought publication of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, Constant Lambert, Alan Rawsthorne, Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine), Edmund Rubbra and other English composers. In what the Press called "the most durable gentleman's agreement in the history of modern music," Foss guaranteed the publication of any music that Vaughan Williams would care to offer them. In addition, Foss worked to secure OUP's rights not only to music publication and live performance, but the "mechanical" rights to recording and broadcast. It was not at all clear at the time how significant these would become. Indeed, Foss, OUP, and a number of composers at first declined to join or support the Performing Right Society, fearing that its fees would discourage performance in the new media. Later years would show that, to the contrary, these forms of music would prove more lucrative than the traditional venues of music publishing. Whatever the Music Department's growth in quantity, breadth of musical offering, and reputation amongst both musicians and the general public, the whole question of financial return came to a head in the 1930s. Milford as London publisher had fully supported the Music Department during its years of formation and growth. However, he came under increasing pressure from the Delegates in Oxford concerning the continued flow of expenditures from what seemed to them an unprofitable venture. In their mind, the operations at Amen House were supposed to be both academically respectable and financially remunerative. The London office "existed to make money for the Clarendon Press to spend on the promotion of learning." Further, OUP treated its book publications as short-term projects: any books that did not sell within a few years of publication were written off (to show as unplanned or hidden income if in fact they sold thereafter). In contrast, the Music Department's emphasis on music for performance was comparatively long-term and continuing, particularly as income from recurring broadcasts or recordings came in, and as it continued to build its relationships with new and upcoming musicians. The Delegates were not comfortable with Foss's viewpoint: "I still think this word 'loss' is a misnomer: is it not really capital invested?" wrote Foss to Milford in 1934. Thus it was not until 1939 that the Music Department showed its first profitable year.Sutcliffe p. 212 By then, the economic pressures of the Depression as well as the in-house pressure to reduce expenditures, and possibly the academic background of the parent body in Oxford, combined to make OUP's primary musical business that of publishing works intended for formal musical education and for music appreciation—again the influence of broadcast and recording. This matched well with an increased demand for materials to support music education in British schools, a result of governmental reforms of education during the 1930s. The Press did not cease to search out and publish new musicians and their music, but the tenor of the business had changed. Foss, suffering personal health problems, chafing under economic constraints plus (as the war years drew on) shortages in paper, and disliking intensely the move of all the London operations to Oxford to avoid The Blitz, resigned his position in 1941, to be succeeded by Peterkin.


Museum

The Oxford University Press Museum is located on
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, Oxford. Visits must be booked in advance and are led by a member of the archive staff. Displays include a 19th-century printing press, the OUP buildings, and the printing and history of the ''Oxford Almanack'', ''Alice in Wonderland'' and the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
''.


Clarendon Press

OUP came to be known as "(The) Clarendon Press" when printing moved from the
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to the Clarendon Building in Broad Street in 1713. The name continued to be used when OUP moved to its present site in Oxford in 1830. The label "Clarendon Press" took on a new meaning when OUP began publishing books through its London office in the early 20th century. To distinguish the two offices, London books were labelled "Oxford University Press" publications, while those from Oxford were labelled "Clarendon Press" books. This labelling ceased in the 1970s, when the London office of OUP closed. Today, OUP reserves "Clarendon Press" as an imprint for Oxford publications of particular academic importance.


Important series and titles


Dictionaries

* ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
'' * ''Shorter Oxford English Dictionary'' * ''Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English, Compact Oxford English Dictionary'' ** ''Compact Editions of the Oxford English Dictionary'' ** ''Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English'' * ''Concise Oxford English Dictionary'' * ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' * ''Oxford Dictionary of Marketing'' * ''Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary''


Bibliographies

* ''Oxford Bibliographies Online''


Indology

* ''The Religious Books of the Sikhs'' *
Sacred Books of the East The ''Sacred Books of the East'' is a monumental 50-volume set of English translations of Asian religious texts, edited by Max Müller and published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It incorporates the essential sacred texts o ...
* Rulers of India series * ''The Early History of India''


Classics

* Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Oxoniensis, also known as the ''Oxford Classical Texts''


Literature

* ''Oxford World's Classics'' ** Oxford English Drama * Oxford English Novels * Oxford Authors


History

* ''Oxford History of Art'' * ''Oxford History of England'' * ''New Oxford History of England'' * ''Oxford History of the United States'' * ''Oxford History of Islam'' * ''The Oxford History of the British Empire'' * ''The Oxford History of South Africa'' * ''The Short Oxford History of the Modern World'' * ''Oxford History of Wales'' * ''The Oxford History of Early Modern Europe'' * ''The Oxford History of Modern Europe'' * ''Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History'' * ''Oxford Historical Monographs'' series


English language teaching

* ''Headway'' * ''Streamline'' * ''English File'' * ''English Plus'' * ''Everybody Up'' * ''Let's Go (textbooks), Let's Go'' * ''Potato Pals'' * ''Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper''


English language tests

* Oxford Test of English * Oxford Placement Test * ''Oxford Placement Test for Young Learners''


Online teaching

* ''My Oxford English''


Bibles

* ''Oxford Annotated Bible'' * ''Oxford Hebrew Bible'' * ''Oxford Lectern Bible'' * ''Scofield Reference Bible''


Atlases

* ''Atlas of the World Deluxe'' * ''Atlas of the World'' * ''New Concise World Atlas'' * ''Essential World Atlas'' * ''Pocket World Atlas''


Music

* ''Carols for Choirs'' * ''Oxford Book of Carols'' * ''The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians'' * ''The Oxford Companion to Music'' * ''Oxford Book of English Madrigals'' * ''Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems'' * ''Oxford History of Western Music''


Scholarly journals

OUP as Oxford Journals has also been a major publisher of academic journals, both in the sciences and the humanities; it publishes over 200 journals on behalf of learned societies around the world. It has been noted as one of the first university presses to publish an open access journal (''Nucleic Acids Research''), and probably the first to introduce Hybrid open access journals, offering "optional open access" to authors to allow all readers online access to their paper without charge. The "Oxford Open" model applies to the majority of their journals. The OUP is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.


Clarendon Scholarships

Since 2001, Oxford University Press has financially supported the Clarendon bursary, a
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graduate scholarship scheme.


See also

* :Oxford University Press academic journals * List of Oxford University Press journals * ''Hachette (publishing), Hachette'' * ''
Hart's Rules ''Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford''—today published under the short title ''New Hart's Rules''—is an authoritative reference book and style guide published in England by Oxford University Press (OUP). ...
for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford'' * List of largest UK book publishers * Cambridge University Press v. Patton, a copyright infringement suit in which OUP is a plaintiff * Blackstone Press * Harvard University Press * University of Chicago Press * Edinburgh University Press * Express Publishing * Blavatnik School of Government (opened in 2015), opposite the OUP on Walton Street


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * *


Further reading

* Gadd, Ian, ed. (2014)
''The History of Oxford University Press: Volume I: Beginnings to 1780''
Oxford: OUP. . * Eliot, Simon, ed. (2014)

Oxford: OUP. . * Wm. Roger Louis, Louis, Wm. Roger, ed. (2014)
''The History of Oxford University Press: Volume III: 1896 to 1970''
Oxford: OUP. . Also online . * Keith Robbins, Robbins, Keith, ed. (2017)
''The History of Oxford University Press: Volume IV: 1970 to 2004''
Oxford: OUP. .


External links

* *
Illustrated article: The Most Famous Press in the World
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