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Introduction to Cambridge University
Cambridge University Press is the printing and publishing house of the University of Cambridge. It is an integral part of the University and has similar charitable objectives in advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research. For centuries the Press has extended the research and teaching activities of the University by making available worldwide through its printing and publishing a remarkable range of academic and educational books, journals, examination papers and Bibles. For millions of people around the globe, the publications of the Press represent their only real link with the University of Cambridge.
Ancient and modern
The Press is both very ancient and very modern. It is in fact the oldest printing and publishing house in the world. It was founded on a royal charter granted to the University by Henry VIII in 1534 and has been operating continuously as a printer and publisher since the first Press book was printed in 1584. Since then, books under Cambridge University's imprint have appeared in each and every year, and the Press has grown to become one of the largest academic and educational publishers in the world, publishing over 2,000 books and 150 journals a year, which are sold to some 200 countries across the globe.
Publications past and present
Over the years, the Press has published works by many famous scholars. Authors before 1800 included Henry More, John Milton, William Harvey, Richard Bentley, Isaac Newton, and Sir Thomas Browne. Since the late nineteenth century, the volume and range have rapidly expanded. In the sciences a tradition of popular science publishing was established that leads from Clerk Maxwell, Rutherford, Eddington, Jeans, Einstein, Schrsõdinger, Dirac, and Bohr, through to such distinguished modern physicists as Hawking, Penrose, Feynman, and Weinberg. In the humanities and social sciences the Press published Russell, Moore, Acton, Pevsner and Leavis and has on its modern list such internationally pre-eminent figures as Eco, Sen, Skinner, Giddens, Nussbaum, Rorty, Soyinka and Hobsbawm.
In 1902 the Cambridge Modern History inaugurated another distinctive Cambridge genre and more than 30 Cambridge Histories have since been published, including such major series as Latin America, China, Japan, The English Language, American Literature, and the new editions of Ancient History and the Medieval History. More recent programmes include a flourishing list of Cambridge Companions in philosophy, literature, music and religion; the paperback imprint CANTO which has issued nearly 100 popular academic titles in attractive reasonably-priced editions; ambitious student text editions like Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, the New Cambridge Shakespeare and Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics; a line in illustrated reference works like David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, the Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy and the Cambridge Illustrated Histories; the Cambridge Low Price Editions scheme to make our best textbooks available to students in the developing world; and an imprint of Spanish-language editions of some of our academic and textbook titles.
The Press's journal publishing began in 1893 with the Journal of Physiology, which remains today one of its largest and most successful journals, alongside some 150 more recent publications such as Protein Science, Brain and Behavioural Sciences, The European Review and the journals of many major learned societies like the Royal Historical Society, the British Sociological Society and the Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry, all of which are progressively being made available online.
The Press's first Bible, printed in 1591, was an edition of the Geneva Bible - the translation that crossed to America with the Pilgrim Fathers. The first Cambridge King James Bible was printed in 1629, establishing a tradition of printing and publishing Bibles of special authority which was continued with the Baskerville Bible (1763), the 19th century Revised Version, and subsequent versions during the 20th century - the New English Bible, the Revised English Bible, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version and the New International Version.
The Press's schoolbooks publishing began with the Pitt Press series in 1874 and has continued in this century to be associated with curriculum reform movements ranging from the School Mathematics Project at one end of the curriculum to the equally innovative Cambridge School Shakespeare and the Cambridge Latin Course at the other, and including major current ventures which address the new literacy and numeracy requirements in schools, such as Cambridge Reading, Passports to Literacy and First Skills in Numeracy.
The Press has also developed one of the highest quality English Language Teaching programmes of any publisher, including: major courses in British English (Cambridge English for Schools, the New Cambridge English Course), American English (New Interchange), and Australian English, often in editions customised for specific key markets like Brazil, Poland, Italy and Japan; best-selling international textbooks like English Grammar in Use and English Vocabulary in Use; and lexical reference works like the English Pronouncing Dictionary and the Cambridge International Dictionary of English.
The story of the last 25 years is one of phenomenal growth and development. The range of publishing now covers virtually every educational subject seriously studied in the English-speaking world and a growing range of books for professional readerships in medicine, law, engineering and computer science. In all, there are more than 20,000 books in print, along with maps, wall-charts, slides, CD-ROMs, on-line publications and one glove-puppet!
The Press as world publisher
The Press is now in a real sense a 'world publisher'. English is the dominant world language of scholarship and science, and the Press seeks to attract the best authors and to publish the best work in the English language worldwide; it currently has over 24,000 authors in 108 countries, including well over 8,000 in the USA, over 1,300 in Australia, and over 100 each (and rising fast) in countries as various as Japan, Russia, South Africa, Spain and Israel. The Press publishes and distributes the whole of this varied output through its own network around the world: there are branches in North America, Australia, Africa, Brazil and Spain, all representing the whole list, supported by sales offices in every major centre; there are editorial offices in New York, Melbourne, Cape Town, Madrid, Singapore and Tokyo, each contributing to it their own related publishing programmes; and the Press's websites are visited by over 2.5 million people worldwide.
The Printing House
The Printing Division has been through a correspondingly dramatic evolution in the last 150 years. In the 1850s, the University Press was predominantly a printing business, and primarily a printer of Bibles and prayer books. Today, the Press has a large modern Printing House with staff skilled in the newest computerised techniques; it was the first UK printer to install an 8-unit colour printing machine; it handles every kind of work from traditional craft binding to electronic database management; and it produces a vast range of scholarly and educational books and journals, not only for the Press's Publishing Division but also for many other academic publishers and organisations throughout the world.
The future will see more growth and diversity as the Press publishes in new formats and media, establishes a presence in emerging educational markets, responds to intellectual developments in the subject areas where it is already active, and continuously invests in technological change to improve its production, distribution and information systems. But the whole of this great expansion remains essentially an organic development, purposefully and directly related to the Press's statutory aims, and realised through a unitary, international printing and publishing organisation, with its physical and its constitutional centre in Cambridge.