|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Redwood City, California|
|Distribution||Ingram Academic (US)|
Combined Academic Publishers (UK)
Stanford BriefsStanford Business Books
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. The press publishes 130 books per year across the humanities, social sciences, and business, and has more than 3,500 titles in print.
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. In 1917, the university bought the printing works, making it a division of Stanford.
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. 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.”
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.
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. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SUP debuted a publishing program for born-digital interactive scholarly works in 2015. That same year, it launched its trade imprint, Redwood Press, with a novel by Bahiyyah Nakhjavani.
In April 2019, the provost of Stanford University announced plans to cease providing funds for the press, drawing widespread criticism. Following protests from Stanford faculty and students, as well as the wider academic and publishing community, the subsidy for the 2019–20 academic year was reinstated, with additional options for future fundraising on the press's part to be discussed.
Redwood Press publishes books written for a trade audience, spanning a variety of topics, by both academics and non-academic writers.
Stanford Briefs are essay-length works published across SUP's various disciplines.
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.
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.
In 1933, David Lamson, a sales manager at SUP, was accused of murdering his wife, Allene, at their home on the Stanford campus. 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.