Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
Oxford University Press How It Became One of the Worlds Premier University Presses

The Oxford University Press (OUP) is one of the largest, oldest, and most respected university presses in the world. Based in Oxford, England, it was founded in 1478 by William Caxton as part of King Edward IV’s desire to create a printing press on university grounds, an idea that eventually came to fruition with the creation of the first university press. For hundreds of years since then, OUP has remained committed to advancing scholarship through publishing books on every subject imaginable, and today it continues to be one of the best university presses in the world.

The story of Oxford University Press

Just over 436+ years ago, a group of Oxford scholars was looking for ways to help students read and understand difficult texts—and they had a bold idea. On June 4, 1586, those scholars purchased two large books to serve as textbooks: William Lily’s Latin grammar and Henry Estienne’s Greek grammar. These were among Oxford’s first titles in what would become one of its most recognizable—and prestigious—trademarks: publishing academic works. Through The Story of OUP, please take a tour of OUP’s history and explore how it became one of the world’s premier university presses today.

The History of Oxford University Press

From 1478 to 2011, OUP has come a long way as one of the premier university presses in Europe. Although there were no translations done during its first fifty years, it later began translating books into other languages, and today it is considered one of the best publishing houses. Beginning with a small shop located in Oxford, it grew to be a huge publishing house that publishes thousands of titles every year from different authors from all over the world. Here is how OUP became what it is today. In 1973, he decided that more self-expression was necessary for his company, so he bought another press named Blackwell. This purchase made Blackwell Main an independent publishing firm once again. He continued putting money into new offices, equipment, and staff. This push toward expansion allowed Blackwell–on–Main to grow very quickly (XIII). The availability of high-quality printing technology also contributed significantly to their success by allowing them to print their own work on a large scale (O’Sheel 476). Their improved facilities resulted in even higher quality publications than before; work by scholars like Wernher von Braun appeared on their lists. 

Today, they produce many educational materials that are used worldwide in schools and at home (XII). Another investment took place in 1970 when OUP acquired Wadsworth Publishing Company of Belmont, California. They then purchased Watermill Press Ltd., which added several fine arts journals to their list of publications available for distribution worldwide (Valpy 42). As early as 1966, Watermill had started out specializing in limited edition art booklets until they eventually expanded their market by creating original art catalogues. Today, they publish limited editions printed on fine paper meant exclusively for collectors who are interested in acquiring unique works of art created by famous artists or containing reproductions based upon famous paintings or sculptures.

What Makes Their Books Different?

The OUP has a long history of producing works written by recognized authorities in their field. These scholars work with editors to polish and perfect their books, resulting in a high-quality product. Once completed, these authoritative texts are made available to scholars, teachers, students, and readers at affordable prices through Oxford’s print-on-demand (POD) technology or through licensing arrangements with Amazon and other retailers. While OUP is widely considered one of the premier university presses in the world, it didn’t become so overnight. 

Specialized Literary Collections, Oxford’s World Public Library

Since its inception in 1796, OUP has focused on collecting and publishing works related to science and scholarship. Today, it houses a collection of over 50 million items worldwide, with many material items housed in five different locations. The Bodleian Library (located on Oxford’s main campus) is home to most special collections holdings, such as first editions of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species. The Oxford University Museum Of Natural History (also located on Oxford’s main campus) is an especially rich scientific library, housing numerous books and journals from all fields of natural history. Visitors can get access to some parts of these libraries by joining one of their free tours. 

Museums and Special Collections: On both campuses, there are two other museum/special collections that attract lots of visitors each year: Museum Of The History Of Science (in Broad Street) and Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (on Yale’s campus). Many visitors love these museums because they get a more hands-on experience than they would be reading about artifacts online or through some other medium. Visitors can see original manuscripts such as drafts by Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci drawings; they can even browse undergrads’ undergraduate thesis papers!

What style is Oxford University Press?

Founded in 1586, Oxford University Press (OUP) has had a long and distinguished history as one of England’s premier academic publishers. In its first century, OUP published almost exclusively theology and religious texts in Latin and Greek. During its second century, it expanded to include law; medicine; mathematics; science and technology; history, including travel writing; poetry; classics, such as Virgil’s Aeneid, reference works such as Roget’s Thesaurus; and children’s books. 

By 1665, it was selling some 40000 titles a year. When Charles I began his crackdown on Puritan writers by closing down their publishing houses in 1643, he led most London printers out of town—but not Richard Field and Martin Lucas. Unwilling to live under the Puritan rule but unwilling to uproot their business entirely, they split from their partners and set up shop in Oxford…

It is noted for publishing high-quality scholarly works from all over the world covering an extraordinarily wide range of subjects—from thirteenth-century manuscripts written on vellum through modern medical research published quarterly—as well as many books on law and philosophy.

What is their philosophy?

Today, OUP is one of Europe’s leading university presses and home to an array of prestigious academic journals. But how did it achieve such recognition? To answer that question, we must take a look at Oxford’s history. In 1478, Henry Stafford became bishop of Durham in England. At that time, printing was still a new technology, and Stafford saw it as an excellent opportunity to further his religious goals. He had every intention of publishing books to spread Christian teachings. He also believed that texts should be published not just in Latin but also in English—the language spoken by many commoners during that time period—in order to reach more people than those who spoke Latin or could afford to purchase expensive books. With these goals in mind, he founded what would become known as the Oxford University Press (OUP) shortly after becoming a bishop. He then moved forward with plans to print textbooks for Northern European seminaries. However, following a political battle between Pope Sixtus IV and King Edward IV over which religion should reign supreme in England, Stafford was accused of treason and executed in 1483. The first book ever printed by OUP was put out posthumously under someone else’s name; it contains instructions on basic catechism for young children learning about their religion. Following Stafford’s death, control of OUP passed from religious leaders to university representatives.

Who are their authors?

They attract a broad range of authors, from Nobel laureates to new voices in translation. They also publish some well-known names, including Margaret Atwood and John le Carré. To get a sense of what OUP books are like, you can search for an author or title on their website. Most recent bestsellers include Craig Mazin’s The Road to Perdition (an earlier version was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks) and Guy de Maupassant’s Selected Stories (translated by David Coward). A search through their translations section gives you access to more than 25 million titles. Each book has its own description page with information about its context and history as well as reviews by other readers.

Who are their publishing partners?

Did you know that Oxford University Press (OUP) works with publishing partners worldwide? They work to ensure that university teaching and research are strengthened in countries around the globe by making books available in places where books are not yet widely read. OUP’s commitment to excellence and quality also applies here—they only work with companies that have a strong reputation for editorial expertise and a history of providing excellent customer service. If your country isn’t on their partner list, but you think it should be, get in touch at []!

How do I submit a manuscript to Oxford University Press?

Oxford University Press is one of several publishers who publish peer-reviewed academic journals. To submit a manuscript to OUP, you must follow their guidelines and format adequately. This can be a daunting task for those who are new to the publishing world or looking to work with a publisher such as OUP. This post will outline how manuscripts are submitted and the formats that need to be followed so that your submission does not get rejected by OUP’s editors. Oxford University Press publishes over 1,500 journals in more than 30 languages and has been around since 1478! Many journal articles referenced today started at Oxford University Press which shows that they know what they are doing when it comes to publishing scientific articles and content. For these reasons, I think it is important for all science majors to understand how working with an established company like OUP would benefit them both now and later in life.

Please send your query to an editor by name and ideally via email (

Bottom Line

Before getting started, you’re going to want to know what style is Oxford. According to its website, OUP publishes books in various genres and formats. These include popular fiction and non-fiction titles, new books on art and design, classics reissued with new introductions, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, books for children and young adults, English language teaching materials, and much more. If there’s one constant among all these different types of titles, it’s that they have a global appeal. OUP is committed to publishing in various languages from Afrikaans to Welsh; from Urdu to Farsi; from German to Korean—to reach as many people as possible with its wide range of literature.

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