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Pergamon Press

Pergamon Press

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Pergamon Press was an Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

-based publishing house, founded by Paul Rosbaud
Paul Rosbaud
Paul Rosbaud , was a metallurgist and scientific adviser for Springer Verlag in Germany before and during World War II....

 and Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell
Ian Robert Maxwell MC was a Czechoslovakian-born British media proprietor and former Member of Parliament , who rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire...

, which published scientific and medical books and journals. It is now an imprint of Elsevier
Elsevier is a publishing company which publishes medical and scientific literature. It is a part of the Reed Elsevier group. Based in Amsterdam, the company has operations in the United Kingdom, USA and elsewhere....


The core company, Butterworth-Springer, started in 1948 to bring the "Springer know-how and techniques of aggressive publishing in science" to Britain. Paul Rosbaud was the man with the knowledge. When Maxwell acquired the company in 1951 Rosbaud held a one-quarter share. They changed the house name to Pergamon Press, using a logo
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition...

 that was a reproduction of a Greek coin from Pergamon
Pergamon , or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus , that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC...

Maxwell and Rosbaud worked together growing the company until May 1956, when Rosbaud left.

When Pergamon Press started it had only six serials and two books. Initially the company headquarters was in Fitzroy Square
Fitzroy Square
Fitzroy Square is one of the Georgian squares in London and is the only one found in the central London area known as in Fitzrovia.The square, nearby Fitzroy Street and the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street have the family name of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, into whose ownership the land...

 in West End of London
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

. In 1959 the company moved into Headington Hill Hall
Headington Hill Hall
Headington Hill Hall stands on Headington Hill in the east of Oxford, England. It was built in 1824 for the Morrell family, local brewers, and was extended between 1856 and 1858, by James Morrell junior who built an Italianate mansion, designed by architect John Thomas...

, a country home rented from the city of Oxford.

In 1960 Brian Cox joined Pergamon Press as subscription manager. After the founders' deaths, Cox has become the primary witness to the phenomenal rise of Pergamon Press in the Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) sector of publishing. The 59 Pergamon academic journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

s in 1960 became 418 journals in 1992. Cox recalls that in the process some 700 were launched, many transmogrifying rather than ceasing. Cox says "The secret of Pergamon’s success was to publish a large number of journals, so that the established titles could support the new ones during their formative years."

In 1964 Pergamon Press became a public company
Public company
This is not the same as a Government-owned corporation.A public company or publicly traded company is a limited liability company that offers its securities for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or through market makers operating in over the counter markets...

. With its growth and export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

 performance, the company was a recipient of one of the Queen's Awards for Enterprise
Queen's Awards for Enterprise
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses...

 in 1966. That year saw construction of a new office block and warehouse at Headington Hill. Pergamon ventured to produce an Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Physics, in nine volumes and four supplements in the decade from 1961. Then it continued with International Encyclopedias in biotechnology, chemistry, education, engineering, entomology, linguistics, materials science, and pharmacology & toxicology. The one in education won the Dartmouth Medal
Dartmouth Medal
The Dartmouth Medal of the American Library Association is awarded annually to a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, published during the previous calendar year.-History:...

 from 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....

 in 1986 as the best reference work of the year.

In 1962 Pergamon Press started the series called The Commonwealth and International Library of Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Liberal Studies. By 1970 this series had 1000 titles. Brian Cox says that in all Pergamon published 7,000 monographs for various authors.

Pergamon also had offices in New York State in the U.S.A.

In 1992 academic publishing
Academic publishing
Academic publishing describes the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in journal article, book or thesis form. The part of academic written output that is not formally published but merely printed up or posted is often called...

 giant Elsevier
Elsevier is a publishing company which publishes medical and scientific literature. It is a part of the Reed Elsevier group. Based in Amsterdam, the company has operations in the United Kingdom, USA and elsewhere....

 bought most of the company from Maxwell. The imprint or Pergamon Press brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

continues to be used to identify journals now published by the Elsevier company.