The story of Oxford University Press spans five centuries of printing and publishing. Beginning with the first presses set up in Oxford in the fifteenth century and the later establishment of a university printing house, it leads through the publication of bibles, scholarly works, and the Oxford English Dictionary, to a twentieth-century expansion that created the largest university press in the world, playing a part in research, education, and language learning in more than 50 countries. With access to extensive archives, The History of OUP traces the impact of long-term changes in printing technology and the business of publishing. It also considers the effects of wider trends in education, reading, and scholarship, in international trade and the spreading influence of the English language, and in cultural and social history - both in Oxford and through its presence around the world. By the late eighteenth century, the University Press was both printer and publisher. This volume charts its rich and complicated history between 1780 and 1896, when transformations in the way books were printed led, in turn, to greater expertise in distributing and selling Oxford books.
Simon Eliot and twelve expert contributors look at the relationship of the Press with the wider book trade, and with the University and city of Oxford. They also explore the growing range of books produced - including, above all, the creation and initial publication of the Oxford English Dictionary.