Mission and History

The University of Delaware Press Mission Statement

To read the University of Delaware Press’s Mission Statement in full, visit the Press’s website.

The University of Delaware Press History

The University of Delaware Press was established in 1922 during the presidency of Walter Hullihen, who believed, “Nothing . . . excepting always sound scholarship and adequate equipment for instruction, redounds more to the credit of an educational institution or adds more to its prestige than a Press bearing its name, wisely administered, and issuing only books and journals of acknowledged and permanent value which carry to other institutions of learning and to educated men in all parts of the world the name of the institution.” Sharing this vision were Everett Johnson, publisher of the Newark Post and owner of the Press of Kells and Dr. Joseph Odell, director of Service Citizens, a local organization supported by Pierre S. du Pont for the purpose of improving public schools in Delaware.

President Hullihen sought national recognition of University of Delaware research, and Dr. Odell was interested in publishing books on public health, education, community, and literary activities. Service Citizens raised the working capital needed to establish the University of Delaware Press. Johnson’s Press of Kells supplied a local source of high-quality printing, but his death and the subsequent closing of the Press of Kells in 1926 changed everything. Through the lean years that followed, the Press was inactive. In 1949, a faculty publications committee initiated a monograph series, of which professor of English Anna J. DeArmond’s book, Andrew Bradford, Colonial Journalist, was the first published. Thereafter, the University of Delaware Press entered into cooperative book publishing agreements with other nearby university presses, including New York University, Temple, and Rutgers.

In 1975, under the aegis of President E. A. Trabant, the University of Delaware Press joined Associated University Presses (AUP), a consortium of several Mid-Atlantic university presses. This arrangement continued for thirty-five years. In 2010, the University of Delaware Press joined Rowman & Littlefield (formerly Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), a large, independent publisher of scholarly, trade, and popular books. Then, in July 2018, the press transferred to a partnership with the University of Virginia Press, a distinguished university press in its own right, which also provided warehouse and fulfillment through Longleaf Services, a nonprofit university press consortium, and sales representation by the Columbia University Press Sales Consortium, the leading university press sales network. Since February 2021, the press has partnered with Rutgers University Press, establishing a more permanent relationship that entails Rutgers producing, marketing, and distributing titles while allowing the University of Delaware Press to be closely involved in all aspects of title development and production.

These partnerships have allowed the University of Delaware Press to maintain complete editorial control over its prestigious list, while outsourcing production and distribution to trusted publishers. Over its history, the press has worked to maintain its reputation as a leading publisher in eighteenth-century studies and art history, while embracing work that is transnational and interdisciplinary, raising its profile in Renaissance and early modern studies, material culture studies, and transatlantic studies. Despite numerous ups and downs in its first one hundred years, the University of Delaware Press has continued to grow and prosper; with support from the university, and especially the Library, Museums, and Press, it is positioned to continue developing, expanding and diversifying its booklist alongside emerging opportunities in the scholarly publishing landscape and in alignment with values of diversity and inclusion.

More Information

For more information on the mission of the University of Delaware Press and a more complete overview of its history, visit the Press’s website.