Behind the Scenes at Cambridge University Press Archive
The history of Cambridge University Press is revealed in all its variety and antiquity through the Cambridge University Press archive.
Minute books, photographs, building plans, financial records, printing ledgers, art work, press cuttings, and author correspondence files give evidence of the people and changing technologies of Cambridge University Press.
Cambridge published its first book in 1584 making it the oldest publishing house in the world. Over the next four centuries the Press’s reputation spread throughout Europe, based on excellence in scholarly publishing of academic texts, poetry, school books, prayer books and Bibles. Along the way Cambridge published ground-breaking works such as Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Milton’s Lycidas, Ernest Rutherford’s Radio-activity, and Noam Chomsky’s Language and Mind.
In the 20th century Cambridge extended that influence to become a global publisher. Today Cambridge has over 50 offices across the globe, employs over 2,000 people, publishes over 50,000 titles by authors from over 100 countries, and is still growing, bringing thousands of subjects and millions of ideas to the world.
Some treasures in the Press Archive include the Articles appointing Thomas Thomas as Printer to the University (1586), Press petitions to the monarch relating to printing privileges and disputes (from 1615), vouchers for payments made by University Printers (from 1696), minutes of Syndicate meetings (from 1696), agents’ accounts for the delivery of books (1766), letters from authors to the Press (from 1873), estimates and orders records (from 1840), and a printed war-service list for staff (1939–45).
To find out more about the Cambridge University Press archive please visit: https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections
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