100 Years of Excellence in Publishing

On January 13, 1913, the Harvard Corporation established Harvard University Press (HUP) in order “to advance knowledge.” We commemorated our centennial year of 2013 with a range of endeavors designed both to celebrate our publishing heritage and to reach an expanding global audience.

HUP Logo

The new logo was designed to work across print and digital applications.

These efforts included the debut of a newly cohesive visual identity, which incorporates a new logo. According to Tim Jones, Harvard University Press director of design and production, the logo, taking the form of two horizontal rows of three crimson rectangles, with the letter H visible in the negative space between them, is designed to work equally well across a range of print and digital applications, from book spines to eBooks.

Other projects inaugurated in 2013 that extended HUP’s legacy into wider technological and geographical spheres were ambitious interactive digital works, such as the Emily Dickinson Archive and the digital Dictionary of American Regional English; an e-ditions program that offers for sale worldwide virtually all of the in-copyright HUP books that have become unavailable in the time since their original publication; and an expanded sales and marketing presence in India.

At the same time, says HUP director William P. Sisler, 2013 was an occasion to recognize the publishing heritage created by the hard work and vision of HUP authors and staff over the past century. A website that offered excerpts from 100 significant HUP books published since 1913 and an exhibit at Harvard’s Houghton Library showcasing artifacts and ephemera from HUP’s publishing history served to mark the end of HUP’s first century in publishing.

In the 100 years since our founding, Harvard University Press has published more than 10,000 new books across various fields and disciplines, including such iconic works as Bernard Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice, and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s The Woman That Never Evolved.

“As we enter our second century and continue to engage an evolving publishing environment, we remain mindful of the constant that drives us: to be a worldwide publisher of works of the highest quality and enduring value, consistent with the standards of one of the world’s great universities,” Sisler said.

You can read more about the first 100 years of our mission to “publish as many good scholarly books as possible short of bankruptcy” in Harvard Magazine, the The Harvard Gazette, and Publishers Weekly.

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