About the Press

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago's experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.

In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers. We develop reference works and educational texts that draw upon and support the emphases of our scholarly programs and that extend the intellectual reach of the Press. We publish significant non-scholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy; translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary; and books that contribute to the public's understanding of Chicago and its region. In all of this, the Press is guided by the judgment of individual editors who work to build a broad but coherent publishing program engaged with authors and readers around the world.

The Press also recognizes the obligation to match the form of our publications to our readers' needs by pursuing innovations in print and electronic technologies. In our books and journals programs as well as in our distribution business, the Press pioneers new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge, and the intellectual exchange that thrives on them.


In all its endeavors, the Press values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe that to fulfill our mission to publish and disseminate meaningful scholarship of the highest standard, we must ensure an inclusive workplace culture where diverse perspectives, experiences, individuals, and ideas are encouraged and thrive.  


But this is not enough. As a university press, our mission is to publish ideas that make a positive difference in the world and this includes giving voice to those who have been silenced. Throughout our history, we have had an important role in supporting authors whose work sheds light on racial and social injustice. We pledge to find new ways to amplify work by Black and other historically underrepresented scholars and encourage research that offers critical insight into the racial disparities and other injustices in our society. 


Books Division

The Books Division of the University of Chicago Press has been publishing books for scholars, students, and general readers since 1892. The Books Division has published more than eleven thousand books since the Press was founded. It has more than five thousand books in print at the present time, including such well-known works as The Chicago Manual of Style; The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn; A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean; and The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek.

Journals Division

The Journals Division publishes more than 80 journals and hardcover serials, in a wide range of academic disciplines, including the social sciences, the humanities, education, the biological and medical sciences, and the physical sciences. These journals deliver original, peer-reviewed research from international scholars to a worldwide audience. Many of our journals were the first scholarly publications in their respective fields. The American Journal of Sociology, founded in 1895, is the oldest academic journal devoted to sociology, while History of Religions was the first academic journal devoted exclusively to comparative religious history. The Journals Division has been a pioneer in making scholarly and scientific journals available in electronic form in conjunction with print editions. We launched our electronic publishing program in 1995 and since 2004 all of our journals are available online.

Chicago Distribution Services

Chicago Distribution Services (CDS) provides scholarly and professional publishers with quality services that enable global dissemination of their publications. These services include distribution, warehousing, credit and collection, marketing, sales representation, digital short-run printing, and digital repository services. CDS comprises the Chicago Distribution Center (CDC), the Chicago Digital Distribution Center (CDDC), and Chicago Subscription Fulfillment Services (CSFS). The CDC began providing distribution services in 1991, when the University of Tennessee Press became its first client. Since then, the CDC has grown to serve 100 scholarly publishers. The CDC coordinates with the Press’s Books Division to provide sales representation and/or marketing services to more than half of its client presses. The CDDC was created in 2001 and provides book publishers with digital printing services on-site at the CDC, as well as digital repository services through the BiblioVault. Currently CSFS provides a full range of customer service, warehousing and distribution, e-commerce, and renewal programs for other not-for-profit publishers.


You may also read a longer history of the University of Chicago Press.



Looking for a book published by a scholarly press?
Search our repository of 42,000 academic and university press titles to see if we can point you to the book you need. Read More