The Mission of the Press
Since its founding in 1891 as one of the three original divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals programs, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago’s experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.
In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers. We develop reference works and educational texts that draw upon and support the emphases of our scholarly programs and that extend the intellectual reach of the Press. We publish significant nonscholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy; translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary; and books that contribute to the public’s understanding of Chicago and its region. In all of this, the Press is guided by the judgment of individual editors who work to build a broad but coherent publishing program engaged with authors and readers around the world.
The Press also recognizes the obligation to match the form of our publications to our readers’ needs by pursuing innovations in print and nonprint technologies. In our books and journals programs as well as in our distribution business, the Press pioneers new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge, and the intellectual exchange that thrives on them.
The history of the Press shows how these ideals have been put into practice.