History

To learn more about the MIT Press, please enjoy our 50th Anniversary Publication prepared in 2012 and a slideshow of our history, below.

Our Timeline

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 acquiresBradford 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.