About

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design.

Mission

To lead by pushing the boundaries of scholarly publishing in active partnership with the MIT community and aligned with MIT's mission to advance knowledge in science, technology, the arts, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century.

Vision

The MIT Press works daily to reimagine what a university press can be, and to use our power as an academic publisher to elevate knowledge to inform and empower. Known for bold design and creative technology, the Press mobilizes knowledge by publishing significant works from leading researchers, scholars, and educators around the globe for the broadest possible access, impact, and audience. We seek to honor real-world complexity by featuring challenging, provocative, and transformative scholarship that crosses traditional academic and geographic boundaries. We support the struggle for social justice and commit to including underrepresented voices and perspectives. Our workplace thrives on an open culture of diverse and spirited individuality that values employee initiative, supports professional growth, and encourages experimentation and learning.

Books

MIT Press books embody design and production values that give unique form to unique arguments. Across our subject areas, we are relentlessly forward-thinking, favoring work that either advances knowledge or offers a useful synthesis. This work may be practical or theoretical; its level might be advanced or introductory. Its approach will often be interdisciplinary and international, reflecting the cross-boundary collaboration that is needed to address complex problems and topics.

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our book catalog, we publish in fields as diverse as art, architecture, business and management, cognitive science, computer science and artificial intelligence, design, economics, education, engineering, environmental science, linguistics, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, technology, and social theory.

For more information about proposing a book project to the press, please see our information for Prospective Authors.

Journals

For almost 50 years the MIT Press journals division has been publishing journals that are at the leading edge of their field and launching new journals that have nurtured burgeoning areas of scholarship. In both form and content, the Press continues to push at the edges of scholarship.

In recent years, the Press has committed to publishing certain titles on an open access (OA) basis and welcomes proposals for new journals that wish to publish OA as well as ones that are subscription-based.

Knowledge Futures Group

The Knowledge Futures Group is a joint initiative of the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab. It brings together a community of technologists, information creators, and scholarly publishers that is committed to addressing a core set of pressing and complex issues within research-intensive institutions.  Our goal is to develop open tools, infrastructure, and transparent business models that will bend the arc of knowledge creation and consumption toward equity and independence.

The MIT Press Bookstore

The MIT Press Bookstore, founded in 1980, is one of the only retail bookstores owned and operated by a university press. Located directly across from the MIT Admissions office, the Bookstore showcases books and journals published by the MIT Press, as well as a curated selection of other publishers’ books in related fields. The store also includes a dedicated children’s space, where visitors can gather and discover the best STEAM books for kids of all ages, including MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press titles. The Bookstore regularly collaborates with various organizations and the MIT Press on author events and exhibits.  

Diversity

The MIT Press is committed to increasing diversity and promoting inclusion in academic and STEAM publishing. Diversity takes many forms, and we recognize that the perspectives, experiences, and scholarship each of our authors and colleagues brings to the table enriches our publishing program, our workplace, and our world.

The MIT Press Fund for Diverse Voices supports the acquisition and development of book projects by and about women and other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields.

History

1926: MIT begins publishing under the imprint MIT the first book, based on a series of lectures given by the physicist at the Institute, is Max Born's Problems of Atomic Dynamics.

1932: The Technology Press imprint is established by James R. Killian, Jr., tenth president of MIT.

1937: John Wiley & Sons takes over editorial and marketing functions of the Press.

1957: Lynwood Bryant becomes Director of The Technology Press.

1961: The Technology Press Board unanimously approves renaming the Press as the MIT Press. The first book with the MIT Press imprint is published: The Electrical Double Layer Around a Spherical Colloid Particle, by A. L. Loeb, J. Th. G. Overbeek, and P. H. Wiersema.

1962: The MIT Press begins operations as a freestanding publishing operation after the separation from John Wiley & Sons. The MIT Press’s first director, Carroll Bowen, is appointed.

1962: Muriel Cooper is hired as art director at the MIT Press. Under her direction, the Press undergoes a visual makeover; she creates a distinctive graphic design for its books, promotional pieces, letterhead, and the striking MIT Press colophon. The Press releases its first set of paperback editions.

1969: The Press opens its European marketing office in London. Today we sell a higher proportion of our products outside the United States than any other U.S. university press.

1970: The MIT Press publishes its first journals with the inaugural issues of Linguistic Inquiry and Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Howard R. Webber is appointed director of the Press, succeeding Bowen.

1974: Constantine Simonides takes over as interim director, succeeding Webber.

1975: Frank Urbanowski is appointed director of the Press, succeeding Simonides.

1980: The MIT Press Bookstore opens its doors. It is still one of the only public bookstores owned and operated by a university press

1981–1982: Urbanowski responds to an economic downturn by reshaping the Press to focus only on selected fields and to publish deeply within those fields, a strategy that in subsequent years would be widely adopted by university presses.

1981: The Press acquires Bradford Books. Harry and Betty Stanton join the Press; the first Bradford Books title published by the Press is Brainstorms, by Daniel C. Dennett.

1992–1994: The MIT Press launches its first online catalog and website.

1995: The Press publishes the first full-text interactive electronic book, City of Bits, by William J. Mitchell, and its first electronic-only journal, Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science.

1996–2000: The MIT Press’s Digital Projects Lab is created and develops both ArchNet, the electronic community for Islamic architecture, and CogNet, the electronic community for the cognitive sciences.

2001: CogNet becomes a paid subscription-based product. ArchNet is transferred to MIT’s Department of Architecture and Planning.

2003: Frank Urbanowski retires and Ellen W. Faran is appointed director of the Press.

2011: The MIT Press launches the Essential Knowledge Series.

2012: The MIT Press celebrates its 50th anniversary.

2015: Amy Brand named director of the Press, succeeding Faran.

2018: The MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab launch the Knowledge Futures Group.

2019: The MIT Press launches the MIT Press Reader.

2021: Amy Brand promoted to Director and Publisher of the Press.

To learn more about the MIT Press, please enjoy our 50th Anniversary publication prepared in 2012 or this slideshow of our history.