To celebrate the publication of the first three volumes of The History of Oxford University Press on Thursday and University Press Week, we’re sharing various materials from our Archive and brief scholarly highlights from the work’s editors and contributors. To begin, we’d like to introduce a silent film made in 1925 by the Federation of British Industry.
By Simon Eliot
In 1901 it was calculated that Oxford University Press took in more than twice the tonnage of material that it sent out, much of the difference being accounted for by coal and machinery. The efficiency of coal was not a new concern in the printing industry. In 1880, Edward Pickard Hall, then responsible for printing Bibles at the Press, had compiled a list of the ‘Evaporative power of Different Coals’ in a notebook and had concluded that ‘Nixon’s Steam Navigation’ at 13.45 was distinctly more efficient than ‘Wyekam’ coal at 11.42.
By Thorin Tritter
I wrote before about the picture that serves as the cover for the chapter on Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in Volume 3 of the newly published History of Oxford University Press. I personally enjoy looking at this type of picture and trying to imagine what went on inside.
By Simon Eliot
Until the 1840s time in Oxford, and therefore at the University Press, was five minutes behind that of London. With no uniform national time until the coming of the railways and the telegraph, the sealed clocks carried by mail coaches would have to be adjusted to Oxford or London time as they were shuttled between the two cities.
By Elizabeth Knowles
Dictionary projects can famously, and sometimes fatally, overrun. In the nineteenth century especially, dictionaries for the more recondite foreign languages of past and present (from Coptic to Sanskrit) were compiled by independent scholars, enthusiasts who were ready to dedicate their lives to a particular project.
Few fields develop as rapidly as medicine, with new breakthroughs in research, tools, and techniques happening everyday. This presents an interesting challenge for many medical publishers — trying to get the latest information to students, practitioners, and researchers as quickly and accurately as possible. So we are delighted to present a Q&A with Associate Editorial Director of Medicine Books, Craig Panner.
By Simon Eliot
All powered printing machines needed an effective means of inking type at speed. In most cases this was done by the use of rollers. The earliest prototypes had been covered with leather but, as a sheet of leather had to be joined to create covering for a cylinder, there was always a sewn seam that did not distribute the ink evenly.
This year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War. This cataclysmic event in world history has been examined by many scholars with different angles over the intervening years, but the academic community hopes to gain fresh insight into the struggles of war on this anniversary.
By Alice Northover
As editor of the OUPblog, I’m probably one of only a handful who read everything we publish over the course of the year. Even those posts which are coded and edited by our Deputy Editors I carefully read through in the hopes of catching any errors (some always make it through). So it’s wonderful to reflect on the amazing work that our authors, editors, and staff have created in 2013. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorites from the past year…
By Matthew Kilburn
It’s not been easy to avoid news that the duke and duchess of Cambridge have had their first child, that the baby is a boy, and that he’s been named George Alexander Louis.