Stanford University Press

Stanford University Press (SUP) is the publishing house of Stanford University. It is one of the oldest academic presses in the United States and the first university press to be established on the West Coast. It was among the presses officially admitted to the Association of American University Presses (now the Association of University Presses) at the organization's founding, in 1937, and is one of twenty-two current member presses from that original group.[2] The press publishes 130 books per year across the humanities, social sciences, and business, and has more than 3,500 titles in print.

Stanford University Press
Stanford University Press
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationRedwood City, California
DistributionIngram Academic (US)
Combined Academic Publishers (UK)[1]
Publication typesBooks
ImprintsRedwood Press

Stanford Briefs

Stanford Business Books


David Starr Jordan, the first president of Stanford University, posited four propositions to Leland and Jane Stanford when accepting the post, the last of which stipulated, “That provision be made for the publication of the results of any important research on the part of professors, or advanced students. Such papers may be issued from time to time as ‘Memoirs of the Leland Stanford Junior University.’” In 1892, the first work of scholarship to be published under the Stanford name, The Tariff Controversy in the United States, 1789-1833, by Orrin Leslie Elliott, appeared with the designation "No. 1" in the "Leland Stanford Junior University Monographs Series.” That same year, student Julius Andrew Quelle established a printing company on campus, publishing the student-run newspaper, the Daily Palo Alto (now the Stanford Daily) and Stanford faculty articles and books. The first use of the imprint "Stanford University Press" was in 1895, with The Story of the Innumerable Company, by President Jordan. In 1915, Quelle hired bookbinder John Borsdamm, who would later draw fellow craftspeople to the press, including master printer and eventual manager Will A. Friend.[3] In 1917, the university bought the printing works, making it a division of Stanford.

The original Stanford University Press colophon.

In 1925, SUP hired William Hawley Davis, Professor of English, to be the inaugural general editor at the press. In the following year, SUP issued its first catalog, listing seventy-five published books.[4][5] University President Ray Lyman Wilbur established a Special Committee in 1927 comprising the editor, the press manager, the sales manager, and the comptroller in service of the press, whose "principal object is to serve in the publication of University publications of all sorts and to promote human welfare generally.”[3]

A 1929 photo of the Stanford University Press staff.

The first press director, Donald P. Bean, was appointed in 1945. By the 1950s, the printing plant ranked seventh nationally among university presses with respect to title output. The head book designer in the late 1950s and 1960s was printer and typographer Jack Stauffacher, later an AIGA medalist.[6]

In 1999, the press became a division of the Stanford University Libraries. It moved from its previous location adjacent to the Stanford campus to its current location, in Redwood City, in 2012–13.[7]

Stanford Business Books, an imprint for professional titles in business, launched in 2000, with two publications about Silicon Valley. The press launched the Briefs imprint in 2012, featuring short-form publications across its entire list.[8][9] With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SUP debuted a publishing program for born-digital interactive scholarly works in 2015.[10][11] That same year, it launched its trade imprint, Redwood Press, with a novel by Bahiyyah Nakhjavani.[12]

In April 2019, the provost of Stanford University announced plans to cease providing funds for the press, drawing widespread criticism.[13][14][15] Following protests from Stanford faculty and students, as well as the wider academic and publishing community,[16] the subsidy for the 2019–20 academic year was reinstated, with additional options for future fundraising on the press's part to be discussed.[17][18][19][20]


Redwood Press

Redwood Press publishes books written for a trade audience, spanning a variety of topics, by both academics and non-academic writers.

Stanford Briefs

Stanford Briefs are essay-length works published across SUP's various disciplines.

Stanford Business Books

The Stanford Business Books imprint is home to academic trade books, professional titles, texts for course use, and monographs that explore the social science side of business.

Digital publishing

SUP's digital projects initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, advances a formal channel for peer review and publication of born-digital scholarly works in the fields of digital humanities and computational social sciences.[21]

Notable series

Notable publications

  • The Tariff Controversy in the United States, 1789–1833, by Orrin Leslie Elliott
    • The first book published in the Leland Stanford Junior University Monographs series
  • The Story of the Innumerable Company, by David Starr Jordan
    • The first book published with the Stanford University Press imprint
  • Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States, by LeRoy Abrams
  • Between Pacific Tides, by Ed Ricketts and Jack Calvin (1939)
  • The Art of Falconry, by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, translated and edited by Casey A. Wood and F. Marjorie Fyfe
  • The Ancient Maya, by Sylvanus Griswold Morley (1946)
  • Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist, by William Walter Greulich and S. Idell Pyle
  • The Complete Essays of Montaigne, translated by Donald M. Frame
  • Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, by Roberta Wohlstetter (1962)
  • Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915–1949, by Lucien Bianco
  • The Many-Splendored Fishes of Hawaii, by Gar Goodson
  • The Sexual Contract, by Carole Pateman (1988)
  • The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, 5 vols., edited by Tim Hunt (1988–2002)
    • Stanford University Press would also publish The Collected Letters of Robinson Jeffers, 3 vols., edited by James Karman (2009–15)
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated with an introduction and notes by Maureen Gallery Kovacs (1989)
  • Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales and their Tellers in Sixteenth Century France, by Natalie Zemon Davis (1990)
  • A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, by Melvyn P. Leffler (1992)
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, by Giorgio Agamben (1998)
  • The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, by Friedrich Katz (1998)
  • The Silicon Valley Edge: A Habitat for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, edited by Chong-Moon Lee, William F. Miller, Marguerite Gong Hancock, and Henry S. Rowan (2000)
    • The inaugural title in the Stanford Business Books imprint
  • Dialectic of Enlightenment, by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno (2002)
  • The Zohar, 12 vols., translated with commentary by Daniel Matt (2003–17)
  • The Physics of Business Growth, edited by Edward Hess and Jeanne Liedtka (2012)
    • The inaugural title in the Stanford Briefs imprint
  • The Woman Who Read Too Much, by Bahiyyah Nakhjavani (2015)
    • The inaugural title in the Redwood Press imprint
  • The Burnout Society, by Byung-Chul Han (Briefs, 2015)
  • Enchanting the Desert, by Nicholas Bauch (2016)
    • The inaugural digital project published by supDigital
  • Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court, by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve (2016)
  • The Omnibus Homo Sacer, by Giorgio Agamben (2017)

Major awards


  • Bancroft Prize (1962): Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision
  • Bancroft Prize (1993): A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War
  • René Welleck Prize, American Comparative Literature Association (1996): The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic
  • Bryce Wood Book Award, Latin American Studies Association (2000); Albert J. Beveridge Award, American Historical Association (1999): The Life and Times of Pancho Villa
  • Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies, Modern Language Association (2003): The Rhetoric of Romantic Prophecy
  • Gold Medal, California Book Awards, Commonwealth Club of California (2009): Asian American Art: A History, 1850–1970
  • Nautilus Book Award (2010): Companies on a Mission
  • National Jewish Book Award, Jewish Book Council (2010): From Continuity to Contiguity: Toward a New Jewish Literary Thinking
  • National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies, Jewish Book Council (2010): Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume 1
  • Yonatan Shapiro Book Prize, Association of Israel Studies (2011); National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture, Jewish Book Council (2011): Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine
  • National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture, Jewish Book Council (2014): Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700–1950
  • National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies, Jewish Book Council (2014); Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize, Modern Language Association (2015): A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586–1987
  • Prose Award for Excellence in Social Sciences (2017); American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award: Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court
  • Independent Publisher Book Award (2018): Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo
  • Hayek Book Prize, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (2018): The High Cost of Good Intentions: A History of U.S. Federal Entitlement Programs
  • Palestine Book Award, Middle East Monitor (2018): Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World
  • Gold in Success/Motivation/Coaching, Axiom Business Book Award (2019): Life Is a Startup: What What Founders Can Teach Us about Making Choices and Managing Change
  • Gold in Autobiography/Memoir III (Personal Struggle/Health Issues), Independent Publisher Book Award: Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura
  • Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize, Association for Asian Studies (2019): A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule

1933 murder case

In 1933, David Lamson, a sales manager at SUP, was accused of murdering his wife, Allene, at their home on the Stanford campus.[23] Janet Lewis, wife of Stanford poet Yvor Winters, campaigning for Lamson's acquittal, wrote a pamphlet emphasizing the dangers of using circumstantial evidence. Lamson was ultimately released after being tried four times.[24]


  1. "Marston Book Services". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  2. "Founding of AAUP". 2012-11-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  3. "Accent on Quality". Stanford University Press Blog. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  4. "About the Press". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  5. University, Stanford (2017-11-09). "Stanford University Press celebrates 125th anniversary". Stanford News. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  6. "2004 AIGA Medalist: Jack Stauffacher". AIGA | the professional association for design. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  7. "Redwood City moves complete".
  8. Press, Stanford University. "Stanford Briefs Thumbnails". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  9. "On the Merits of Brevity". Stanford University Press Blog. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  10. "Taking Digital Scholarship to the Presses". Stanford University Press Blog. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  11. "Stanford Digital Projects". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  12. "Stanford University Press Launches Trade Imprint". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  13. Kafka, Alexander C. (April 26, 2019). "Proposed Cut of Stanford U. Press's Subsidy Sparks Outrage". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  14. Jaschik, Scott (April 29, 2019). "Stanford Moves to Stop Supporting Its University Press". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  15. Miller, Elise (2019-04-29). "Stanford community outraged at SU Press defunding, over 1,000 sign petitions". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  16. "Association Stands in Support of Stanford University Press". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  17. Kafka, Alexander C. (2019-04-30). "Facing Blowback, Stanford Partly Reverses Course and Pledges Press Subsidy for One More Year". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  18. Miller, Elise (2019-05-01). "Provost compromise a 'step in the right direction' on SU Press defunding, but not enough, say faculty". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  19. "Stanford backs down -- for a year -- on ending support for university press". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  20. "Op-Ed: Graduate students on SUP's future". The Stanford Daily. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  21. "Stanford Digital Projects". Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  22. "Stanford University Press Awards". Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  23. "Was It Murder?". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  24. "The Ordeal of David Lamson". 16 December 2012.
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