Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press

Overview
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. Granted letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world. They also publish bibles and academic journals.

The Press’s mission is to “To further through publication the University’s objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research worldwide.” This mission is laid out in ‘Statute J’ in the University of Cambridge’s Statutes and Ordinances.
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Encyclopedia
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. Granted letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world. They also publish bibles and academic journals.

The Press’s mission is to “To further through publication the University’s objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research worldwide.” This mission is laid out in ‘Statute J’ in the University of Cambridge’s Statutes and Ordinances. The Press's objective is "To operate sustainably for the public benefit a publishing programme that upholds the integrity of the Cambridge name."

Cambridge University Press is both an academic and educational publisher, with a regional structure operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. The Press have more than 50 offices all around the globe, employs nearly 2,000 people, and publishes over 4,000 titles a year. Its publishing includes professional books, textbooks, monographs, reference works, nearly 300 academic journals, Bibles and prayer books, English language teaching publications, educational software, and electronic publishing.

Governance


The Press has, since 1698, been governed by the Press ‘Syndics’ (originally known as the 'Curators'), made up of 18 senior academics from the University of Cambridge who represent a wide variety of subjects. The Syndicate has two main sub-committees: the Publishing Committee and the Finance Committee. The Publishing Committee provides quality assurance and formal approval for the titles to be published and meets 18 times a year to review editorial and publishing strategy matters. The Finance Committee is concerned with financial and governance strategy and meets four times a year. The Press Syndicate meets in the Pitt Building, which is the old headquarters of the Press located in Cambridge city centre. The operational responsibility of the Press is delegated by the Syndics to the Press’s Chief Executive and nine Officers, including a Finance Director.

The Press is a department of the University of Cambridge; it has no shareholders and is entirely self-financing. It is a not-for-profit organisation
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

; any surplus is used to develop the publishing programme and to support the University.

Publishing structure


Cambridge University Press is divided into two main publishing groups. These are:

Academic and Professional


This group publishes textbooks and reference books in the science, technology and medicine, and humanities and social sciences topic areas. They also publish bibles and academic journals.

Cambridge Learning


Cambridge Learning publishes English language teaching courses and books for all ages. They also publish educational books and courses for primary, secondary and international schools.

Electronic and digital developments


Due to the changes taking place in the way that books and content are bought and accessed, Cambridge has estimated that its digital products could account for two-thirds of its sales by 2020.

Since 2010, Cambridge has provided electronic book content through the website Cambridge Books Online, and all of Cambridge’s journals are published in both hard copy format and online.

Other recent ventures include Race to Learn, curriculum software that uses Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 to encourage group working in primary school children, published through Cambridge–Hitachi, a joint venture between Cambridge University Press and Hitachi Software Engineering that produces software for teaching on interactive whiteboards in schools.

History


The Cambridge University Press is both the oldest publishing house in the world and the oldest university press. It originated from Letters Patent (similar to a royal charter) granted to the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 in 1534, and has been producing books continuously since the first University Press book was printed in 1584. Cambridge is one of the two privileged presses
Privileged presses
In the United Kingdom, the privileged presses are Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. They are called this because, under letters patent issued by the Crown defining their charters, only they have the right to print and publish the Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised...

 (the other being Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. 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...

). Authors published by Cambridge have included John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, William Harvey
William Harvey
William Harvey was an English physician who was the first person to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart...

, Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

, Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

, and Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking
Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity...

.
University printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 did not actually begin in Cambridge until the first practising University Printer, Thomas Thomas, had been appointed in 1583, nearly fifty years after the grant of the Letters Patent. He set up a printing house on the site of what became the Senate-House lawn – a few yards from where the Press’s bookshop now stands. In those days, the Stationers’ Company in London jealously guarded its monopoly of printing, which partly explains the delay between the date of the University’s Letters Patent and the printing of the first book.

In 1591, Thomas's successor, John Legate, printed the first Cambridge Bible, an octavo edition of the popular Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

. The London Stationers objected strenuously, claiming that they had the monopoly on Bible printing. The University's response was to point out the provision in its charter to print 'all manner of books'. Thus began the Press's tradition of publishing the Bible, a tradition that has endured for over four centuries, beginning with the Geneva Bible, and continuing with the Authorized Version, the Revised Version
Revised Version
The Revised Version of the Bible is a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version of 1611. It was the first and remains the only officially authorized and recognized revision of the King James Bible. The work was entrusted to over 50 scholars from various denominations in Britain...

, the New English Bible
New English Bible
The New English Bible is a translation of the Bible into modern English directly from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts . The New Testament was published in 1961...

 and the Revised English Bible
Revised English Bible
The Revised English Bible is a 1989 English language translation of the Bible and updates the New English Bible, of 1970. As with its predecessor, it is published by the publishing houses of both Oxford University and Cambridge University....

. The restrictions and compromises forced upon Cambridge by the dispute with the London Stationers did not really come to an end until the scholar Richard Bentley
Richard Bentley
Richard Bentley was an English classical scholar, critic, and theologian. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge....

 was given the power to set up a 'new-style press' in 1696. It was in Bentley's time, in 1697, that a body of senior scholars ('the Curators', known from 1733 as 'the Syndics') was appointed to be responsible to the University for the Press's affairs. The Press Syndicate's publishing committee still meets regularly (eighteen times a year), and its role still includes the review and approval of the Press’s planned output. John Baskerville became University Printer in the mid-eighteenth century. Baskerville's concern was the production of the finest possible books using his own type-design and printing techniques.
Baskerville wrote, "The importance of the work demands all my attention; not only for my own (eternal) reputation; but (I hope) also to convince the world, that the University in the honour done me has not entirely misplaced their favours." Caxton would have found nothing to surprise him if he had walked into the Press's printing house in the eighteenth century: all the type was still being set by hand; wooden presses, capable of producing only 1,000 sheets a day at best, were still in use; and books were still being individually bound by hand. A technological breakthrough was badly needed, and it came when Lord Stanhope perfected the making of stereotype plates. This involved making a mould of the whole surface of a page of type and then casting plates from that mould. The Press was the first to use this technique, and in 1805 produced the technically successful and much-reprinted Cambridge Stereotype Bible.
By the 1850s the Press was using steam-powered machine presses, employing two to three hundred people, and occupying several buildings in the Silver Street and Mill Lane area, including the one that the Press still occupies, the Pitt Building (1833), which was built specifically for the Press and in honour of William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

. Under the stewardship of C. J. Clay, who was University Printer from 1854 to 1882, the Press increased the size and scale of its academic and educational publishing operation. An important factor in this increase was the inauguration of its list of schoolbooks (including what came to be known as the 'Pitt Press Series'). During Clay's administration, the Press also undertook a sizable co-publishing venture with Oxford: the Revised Version of the Bible, which was begun in 1870 and completed in 1885. It was in this period as well that the Syndics of the Press turned down what later became the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

—a proposal for which was brought to Cambridge by James Murray (lexicographer)
James Murray (lexicographer)
Sir James Augustus Henry Murray was a Scottish lexicographer and philologist. He was the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1879 until his death.-Life and learning:...

 before he turned to Oxford.

The appointment of R. T. Wright as Secretary of the Press Syndicate in 1892 marked the beginning of the Press's development as a modern publishing business with a clearly defined editorial policy and administrative structure. It was Wright (with two great historians, Lord Acton and F. W. Maitland) who devised the plan for one of the most distinctive Cambridge contributions to publishing—the Cambridge Histories.

The Cambridge Modern History
Cambridge Modern History
The Cambridge Modern History is a comprehensive modern history of the world, beginning with the 15th century age of Discovery, published by the Cambridge University Press in the United Kingdom and also in the United States....

was published between 1902 and 1912. Nine years later the Press issued the first volumes of the freshly edited complete works of Shakespeare, a project of nearly equal scope that was not finished until 1966. The Press’s list in science and mathematics began to thrive, with men of the stature of Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

 and Ernest Rutherford
Ernest Rutherford
Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson OM, FRS was a New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics...

 subsequently becoming Press authors. The Press's impressive contribution to journal publishing began in 1893, and today it publishes close to 300 journals.

In 1992 the Press opened its own bookshop at 1 Trinity Street
Trinity Street, Cambridge
Trinity Street is a historical street in central Cambridge, England. The street continues north as St John's Street and south as King's Parade and then Trumpington Street....

, in the centre of Cambridge. Books have been sold continuously on this site since at least 1581, perhaps even as early as 1505, making it the oldest known bookshop site in Britain. The £1.25m worth of Press publications sold each year through this bookshop is a small proportion of CUP's global sales. With branches, offices and agents throughout the world, the Press can draw on around 33,000 authors from 120 different countries. Its 2,000 staff in sixty offices service an inventory of 34,000 in-print titles, growing at a rate of 2,800 new ISBNs per year, and a stockholding of 16m units in nine warehouses around the world.

Alms for Jihad



In 2007, controversy arose over CUP's decision to destroy all remaining copies of its 2006 book, Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World
Alms for Jihad
Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World is a 2006 book co-written by American authors J. Millard Burr, a former USAID relief coordinator in Sudan and Historian Robert O...

, by Burr and Collins, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz
Khalid bin Mahfouz
Khalid bin Mahfouz was a wealthy Saudi Arabian businessman residing in Ireland. He was accused of supporting al-Qaeda.As of 2002, he was believed to be confined in a hospital in Taif by Saudi authorities...

. Within hours, Alms for Jihad became one of the 100 most sought after titles on Amazon.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

 and eBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. CUP sent a letter to libraries asking them to remove copies from circulation. CUP subsequently sent out copies of an "errata" sheet for the book.

The American Library Association
American Library Association
The American Library Association is a non-profit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members....

 issued a recommendation to libraries still holding Alms for Jihad: "Given the intense interest in the book, and the desire of readers to learn about the controversy first hand, we recommend that U.S. libraries keep the book available for their users." The publisher's decision did not have the support of the book's authors and was criticised by some who claimed it was incompatible with freedom of speech and with freedom of the press and that it indicated that English libel laws were excessively strict. In a New York Times Book Review (7 October 2007), United States Congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Frank R. Wolf described Cambridge's settlement as "basically a book burning." CUP pointed out that, at that time, it had already sold most of its copies of the book.

Cambridge defended its actions, saying it had acted responsibly and that it is a global publisher with a duty to observe the laws of many different countries.

Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Patton et al.


In 2008, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications sued four senior members of staff employed by Georgia State University over the university's electronic reserves policy, which is an online version of the usual reserve policy for texts used in courses. At GSU, professors could request that the library scan significant extracts of books and make them available for students in particular classes as part of e-coursepacks, which the publishers claim went far beyond the fair use provisions of copyright law.

Community work


The Press has been recognised on several occasions for its commitment to community involvement and social responsibility, and it has stated that public engagement is an important part of the Press’s role, by undertaking educational projects and fundraising.

In 2009, the Press’s Chief Executive Stephen Bourne was recognised for his "leadership and commitment to responsibility business practice" by being awarded The Prince’s Ambassador Award for the East of England.

The Press partnered with Bookshare in 2010 to make their books accessible to people with qualified print disabilities. Under the terms of the digital rights license agreement, the Press delivers academic and scholarly books from all of its regional publishing centres around the world to Bookshare for conversion into accessible formats. People with qualified print disabilities around the world can download the books for a nominal Bookshare membership fee and read them using a computer or other assistive technology, with voice generated by text-to-speech technology, as well as options for digital Braille.

See also

  • Journals published by Cambridge University Press
  • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
    Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association
    The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association is an industry association which aims to promote open access publishing and to establish best practices in the field...

    , of which Cambridge University Press is a member.

External links