About & Press History

About the Press

The University of Delaware Press publishes approximately 15–20 books per year in Literary Studies, especially Renaissance and Early Modern literature; Eighteenth-Century Studies; French literature and culture; Art History and Material Culture Studies; and cultural studies of Delaware and the Eastern Shore. Our prestigious series, such as The Early Modern Exchange, Early Modern Feminisms, Performing Celebrity, and Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture, focus heavily on transnational and interdisciplinary scholarship.

All submissions considered for acquisition are subject to a rigorous peer review process in which at least two external readers are selected from among distinguished scholars in the appropriate fields. The Board of Editors currently consists of faculty members from the departments of Art History, English, History, and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, as well as the Vice Provost for Libraries ex-officio. The Board meets six times per year and plays a crucial role in determining the editorial direction of the press. Julia Oestreich currently serves as director.

The University of Delaware Press carries out all acquisitions activities from its offices in the Morris Library on the University of Delaware’s main campus in Newark. It is partnered with the University of Virginia Press, which shares editorial responsibilities, and provides production and distribution services. The University of Delaware maintains full control of its imprint, leveraging this partnership to continue publishing the high-quality scholarship for which it is known.

History of the Press

The University of Delaware Press was established in 1922 during the presidency of Walter Hullihen, who believed, “Nothing . . . excepting always sound scholarship and adequate equipment for instruction, redounds more to the credit of an educational institution or adds more to its prestige than a Press bearing its name, wisely administered, and issuing only books and journals of acknowledged and permanent value which carry to other institutions of learning and to educated men in all parts of the world the name of the institution. . . .” Sharing this vision were Everett Johnson, publisher of the Newark Post and owner of the Press of Kells and Dr. Joseph Odell, director of Service Citizens, a local organization supported by Pierre S. du Pont for the purpose of improving public schools in Delaware.

President Hullihen sought national recognition of University of Delaware research, and Dr. Odell was interested in publishing books on public health, education, community, and literary activities. Service Citizens raised the working capital needed to establish the University of Delaware Press. Johnson’s Press of Kells supplied a local source of high-quality printing, but his death and the subsequent closing of the Press of Kells in 1926 changed everything. Through the lean years that followed, the Press was inactive.

In 1949, a faculty publications committee initiated a monograph series, of which professor of English Anna J. DeArmond’s book, Andrew Bradford, Colonial Journalist, was the first published. Thereafter, the University of Delaware Press entered into cooperative book publishing agreements with other nearby university presses, including Rutgers, New York University, and Temple.

In 1975, under the aegis of President E. A. Trabant, the University of Delaware Press joined Associated University Presses (AUP), a consortium of several Mid-Atlantic university presses. This arrangement continued for thirty-five years. In 2010, the University of Delaware Press joined Rowman & Littlefield (formerly Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), a large, independent publisher of scholarly, trade, and popular books. Then, in July 2018, the press transferred to a partnership with the University of Virginia Press, a distinguished university press in its own right, which also provided warehouse and fulfillment through Longleaf Services, a nonprofit university press consortium, and sales representation by the Columbia University Press Sales Consortium, the leading university press sales network. 

These partnerships have allowed the University of Delaware Press to maintain complete editorial control over its prestigious list, while outsourcing production and distribution to trusted publishers. The press was particularly excited to announce its partnership with the University of Virginia Press, so that all aspects of operation are now carried out within the university press community.