Ohio University Press Celebrates 50 Years Of Publishing

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During the week of Feb. 16–22, Ohio University Press, nonprofit publisher of books for both academic and popular audiences, celebrates its 50th year as publishing house.

A number of activities are scheduled for Ohio University Press Week, including talks by the director of the Press, Gillian Berchowitz, a poetry reading by a Press author, and an open house on Feb. 21 at the Press offices on 215 Columbus Road to which all are invited.

The open house, from 4–6 p.m., includes refreshments, drawings, and a chance to meet local authors and members of Ohio University Press.

Founded in 1964 by then-president Vernon R. Alden, the Press’s core mission has been to put important scholarly and creative works into print, and to make the fruits of scholarly research accessible to general audiences.

Through coverage in various media and through the sales of books, the Press extends the Ohio University name into the world.

“Ohio University Press today is an international publishing house with distribution channels around the world,” said Berchowitz. “Along with our trade imprint, Swallow Press, the Ohio University Press proudly serves as Ohio University’s scholarly publishing arm, promoting the culture of scholarly exchange and making books about big ideas in the humanities, arts, and sciences available worldwide in print and digital formats.”

Ohio University Press publishes books about its local area and region, specifically Ohio, the Midwest, and Appalachia; it publishes books of national interest, especially in literature and history; and it publishes books about other parts of the world, most significantly in the area of African Studies in which Ohio University Press is a leading publisher.

The majority of Ohio University Press authors are scholars affiliated with other universities, but several books have been written by Ohio University professors. (The Press publishes books about the university through its 1804 Books imprint.)

In addition to scholars, Press authors include journalists, farmers, photographers, illustrators, counselors, cooks, gardeners, lawyers, and librarians.

A staff of nine full-time employees in Athens acquires, edits, produces, and sells between 40-50 books each year, generating close to $1 million in annual sales. Ohio University Press is a member of the American Association of University Presses.

Activities planned to celebrate the anniversary include:

•Gillian Berchowitz talk to kick-off OU Press Week, Sunday, 4 p.m., Athens County Historical Society and Museum.

•Gillian Berchowitz talk to the Athens Rotary Club, Monday, 12 p.m., Ohio University Inn.

•Gillian Berchowitz talks about OU Press’s history of publishing books about Africa, Wednesday, 2 p.m., Alden Library.

•Gillian Berchowitz talks in a public forum, Thursday, 7 p.m., Athens Public Library.

•Joshua Mehigan (Ohio University Press author and current Ohio University Creative Writing Resident) poetry reading, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Walter Hall Rotunda.

•Open House at OU Press, Friday, 4-6 p.m., 215 Columbus Road. The public is invited to attend to meet Press staff, local authors, purchase discounted books, and enter drawings. Food and beverages will be provided.

For information about the Ohio University Press, visit