The University of Utah Press, 1949-1976

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department Communication
Author Garrett, Anna Lee
Title The University of Utah Press, 1949-1976
Date 1976
Description A university press generally publishes four kinds of books: important books by and for scholars, books by scholars interpreting for general readers, materials for scholarly study and reference, and regional works. Its primary role, however, is the publication of the results of research by scholars--scholarly books. The history of scholarly publishing began in England shortly after the invention of movable type and concurrent with the development of commercial publishing. In America it developed independently after commercial publishing was well established. In 1949, some eighty years after Cornell became the first university to establish a press, the University of Utah started its publishing program. President A. Ray Olpin named Dr. Harold W. Bentley director of the Press, which then included the Mailing Bureau, the Stenograrhic Bureau, and the Printing Services. Dr. Bentley's philosophy was that a university press was as essential as the Library, and that books are "for students, the most important single thing they have." lie directed the Press, including Printing Services and the other departments, until 1952, when Dr. Philip C. Sturges was named assistant director in charge of all but the publishing function, which Dr. Bentley continued to administer. Dr. Bentley was by that time also Dean of the Extension Division and Dr. Sturges had a faculty appointment in the History Department. The Press had administrative support and a small subsidy, but the income from the activities other than publishing made it difficult to assess the financial condition of the Press. Nationally, however, it was already being determined that despite the postwar growth in higher education, a university press could not function without subsidy. Dr. Sturges was made director of the whole operation in 1955 and the Press continued to build the list of publications started by Dr. Bentley. The operational burden of all the functions under the Press was far too great and Dr. Sturges considered it important to separate the other departments from the publishing function. That was not to occur for several more years. Dr. Sturges resigned in 1959 to teach full time, and the Press was without a director for two years. Dean Bentley continued the administration and the Printing Services foreman, Keith Loosli, was named manager of the Press. A full-time director, Dr. Russell Mortensen, was hired in 1961. He got the subsidy increased slightly and enlarged the staff to include an assistant. His philosophy was much the same as the previous directors' and the Press moved forward both. in size and in number of publications. He also effected the separation of the Press from Printing Services, the Mailing Bureau and the Stenographic Bureau. Richard Thurman replaced Dr. Mortensen when he resigned in 1964. Mr. Thurman's concept of the role of the Press was somewhat different from his predecessors' and he increased the size of the staff greatly and secured a larger subsidy and some funding from other departments in the college. He also began in-house computer typesetting, which ultimately proved to be inefficient and costly. The Press accumulated a deficit that the financial officers insisted be repaid before the Press accepted any new manuscripts. Mr. Thurman resigned in 1970 and Norma Mikkelsen was made acting director until 1972, when she was made director. Hoping to convince the administration that the Press should not be closed, she began a program of careful management that has resulted in repayment of the deficit and establishment of a solid and effective publishing operation. Nationally, the same kind of crisis that the University of Utah Press has survived is now being experienced by many other presses. The declining economy has created problems that the University of Utah Press has solved effectively enough that the history of the Press is significant on a national level.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject University of Utah; Press University presses -- Utah -- Salt Lake City
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Anna Lee Garrett
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s68m1ww0
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2019-09-11
Date Modified 2019-09-11
ID 1455245
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s68m1ww0
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