UNC Press celebrates the centenary of its founding as the First Southern University Press, First Secular Press in the South
Founded in 1922, UNC Press was the first university press in the South and one of the first in the country. The Press’s regional publishing program – aimed at general readers and offering engaging, authoritative work on all aspects of the region’s history and culture, its natural and built environment, music, food, literature, geography, flora and fauna – was widely adopted from other parts of the country. The press has earned an excellent reputation in its hundred years of publishing the outstanding works of the country’s leading scholars, writers and intellectuals and effectively presenting these works to a wide audience. Over the years, Press’s books have won hundreds of prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Prize, as well as numerous national and international scholarly societies. Today, the UNC Press masthead is recognized around the world as a mark of publishing excellence—what and how it publishes. Because of its respected authors, who rely on the press to connect readers to important ideas, the University of North Carolina is featured in books and magazines in the press across the country and around the world, in both print and digital formats .
“The founding of UNC Press in the spring of 1922 was a visionary act that was part of a series of state and campus leadership investments to transform UNC from a sleepy Southern university into a gravitational center for Southern study. The UNC press legitimized the study of the South and shared the Southern way of life with the world. From the start, the press identified voices in the region whose stories were not told or told. What was overlooked: stories from the Appalachian Mountains, or about women, or life on the farm. There were some stories that made people uncomfortable: books about racial injustice or poverty or about lynchings.” —John Sherer, Spangler Family Director of UNC Press.
Watch a short video made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the UNC press
Adds Sherer, “It’s a great press, but 100 years didn’t come easy. The Great Depression. world wars. Countless recessions. Our building once burned down to the ground. And now the pandemic. But I still believe in it.” The best years of the press are ahead. Despite the pain of the pandemic, we’ve learned to do some remarkable things. Building on the tremendous success of previous generations of innovators and today’s team, the press will prevail. Whatever the next calamity, fate will be ours. We are working hard to ensure that the University of North Carolina Press continues to be an essential and progressive force for the state, region and world.”
Earlier this year, UNC Press introduced a new logo/branding design to celebrate this anniversary year.
UNC Press’s large list of authors includes historians such as John Hope Franklin, Gerda Lerner, Gordon Wood, Mary Kelly, Jacqueline Dowd Hall, Nell Irwin Painter, Glenda Gilmore, Timothy Tyson, Gary W. Gallagher, Tia Miles, Laurent Dubois, Cedric . Robinson and Louis A. Perez Jr.; Scholars of American and world religions, including Carl W. Ernst, Anthea Butler, and Katherine Braques; praised literary authors and critics such as Elizabeth Lawrence, Kleinth Brooks, Phyllis Wheatley, Thomas Wolfe, Paul Green and Wilma Dieckman; Prominent scholars of the American South from Howard Odom to William Ferriss; food and cookbook authors such as Adrian Miller and Bill Neill; and local celebrities like David Stick, Bill Neill, Mildred (Mama Dip) Council and Bland Simpson.
UNC Press advances the University of North Carolina’s triple mission of teaching, research, and public service by publishing quality books and journals for students, scholars, and the general reader in a business environment, yet in a world of scholarship and ideas. ,
About University of North Carolina Press: Celebrating the centenary of its founding in 2022, UNC Press continues to advance the research, teaching and public service of a major public university by publishing the distinguished works of leading scholars, writers and intellectuals and presenting these works to both academic audiences and the general public. advances the mission. Reader. Through its wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary, Longleaf Services, UNC Press provides much-needed economies of scale in back-end services to a growing group of university publishers. Additionally, the Office of Scholarly Publishing Services is expanding the role of UNC Press within the 16-campus UNC system to support publishing at these diverse universities.
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