Ohio University Press Celebrates 50 Years

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Fifteen-hundred books in 50 years.

That’s the milestone the Ohio University Press is celebrating Friday at their offices in Athens.

Various events have been held throughout the week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OU Press including poetry readings, historical discussions, and an open house at the Ohio University press offices.

In its 50 years, the press has published books on a wide variety of topics.

“A lot of them are scholarly, meant for academic audiences,” said OU Press publicist Jeff Kallet. “But we also publish for general audiences. Books about Ohio history, books about literature, and a lot of different things…even things like gardening and travel books.””

One in particular stands out to the OU press and its director, Gillian Berchowitz.

Legacy: A Step-by-Step guide to Writing Personal History was a collaboration between the OU Press and author Linda Spence.

It went on to sell over one million copies.

The Ohio University Press was founded in 1964 by then university president Vernon Alden, who wanted to emulate the success other universities had with their own presses.

“I would say Vernon Alden was a visionary,” said Berchowitz. “Through his background at Harvard, he had a sense of what a university means to a community and to a region and the importance of universities not only doing research, but making sure that research is made available to people far and wide.

The publisher has nine full-time employees who help publish 40 to 50 books a year.

So what does the next 50 years have in store for the Ohio University Press?

“Going forward, I think that the output of the book is going to have to be very, very varied,” Berchowitz said. “We certainly plan to be ahead of the curve in making our work available on a number of platforms.”

For more information about the Ohio University Press, you can visit their website here.