Happy 60th Anniversary MIT Press


For our 60th anniversary, the MIT community and our friends, authors, and staff shared their memories and appreciations.

"Great books don’t come into the world by accident. They require fine authors, but also publishers that can spot and support talent, particularly when authors are of diverse backgrounds. The MIT Press is one such press, and by doing so it is shaping the entire publishing world and moving this industry towards where it actually should be."

"I was but a shadow in Philly when Muriel Cooper, Nicholas Negroponte, and the MIT Press embraced several of the patterns I found in the late 60’s and they emerged as publications. Without the Press I would be without the interesting journey that has determined all the rest. I know the effect on my life so I can estimate the enormous effect on many others - profound thanks for all your risk taking with the shadows."

"As a grateful neighbor a few miles down the river, I've long admired the Press's outstanding publications in art, architecture, cognitive science, and philosophy. And now I am proud to be an MIT Press author (twice) and to behold eight books(!) emanating recently from our research group at Harvard Project Zero. At a time when so many writers and publishers are frustrated and angry, it's vital to have a publishing house and staff that represent work of the highest quality."

“For linguistics, cognitive science more generally, neuroscience and philosophy of language and mind, and not in these areas alone, MIT press has been an invaluable resource for many years. Not least, offering opportunities for publication that have repeatedly brought new and fruitful research and discussion to a broader audience. I’m one of many who have greatly benefited from its contributions.”

"I’m grateful that the MIT Press took a chance on signing me up as an author early in my career—but then, the Press has never been afraid to take risks. The MIT Press has been instrumental in advancing the fields of digital art, literature, and media, in part by supporting projects that could never have found a home elsewhere."

“The MIT Press fills a unique niche in the world of publishing: innovative in their choice of subjects and authors, elegant in their designs, and utterly committed to intellectual quality.”

"Like the Institute, the Press changes with the times, constantly reinventing itself and reimagining the future. We are indebted to its talented, dedicated staff for publishing work that pushes boundaries and crosses disciplines. And we look forward to at least another six decades of reading, exploring, discovering and understanding."

"Applauding the world's best university press!"

“MIT Press has long stood for high-quality, important books: High quality in content and graphic design. And to paraphrase a quotation from one of my books: Attractive things read better.”

“MIT Press is a beacon of hope for me in the Publishing World, not just because of their interest in my field of development economics, but because of their belief in the practice of economics through public policy. So time and again, they have worked with me to capture my experience in embedding economics in good public policy. The staff of MIT press is dedicated, dogged, and determined to get the work done. Happy 60th anniversary!!”

“Over the past quarter century, my center at Harvard University has worked closely with MIT Press to put out the Journal of Cold War Studies. Our partnership has been immensely rewarding, and the many years of working together have reinforced my view that academic journals will find no better publisher than MIT Press. The press is a superb part of one of the world's greatest universities.”

“As a curator of architecture and design and a perpetual student, I owe a huge debt to the beloved MIT Press for publishing such pillars of my universe as Learning from Las Vegas, The Image of the City, and Speculative Everything, and contaminating them with equally fundamental texts from the applied sciences––and with polytechnic brilliance.”

“If MIT Press were a literary salon, it would be the place where an art historian and a crypto entrepreneur get into a fight about the nature of digital art while in another corner, an architect and an aerosols expert hash out designs for a covid-safe workspace, and in another, science fiction writers and AI researchers debate the nature of intelligence. I hope in the next 60 years it continues to push boundaries in finding ways to make ideas mingle and cross-pollinate from the widest possible range of disciplines.”

“For sixty years, the MIT Press has been leading the way in publishing important, timely, and interesting material from world-class experts, with thorough reviewing and enormous reach. Today the Press is actively expanding the range of perspectives from which we can all learn, while innovating for the future of scholarly communication.”

“MIT Press is an organization that takes worthy risks —not just of the big variety, but the equally important little ones, the 'yesses' along the way to experimentation in format, licensing, contributors, and content. There's no other organization like it in supporting rigorous, creative expression through the written word.”

“The Press is a major enhancer of MIT's influence and reputation in scholarship and education. For MIT researchers it's a channel to commercial publishing that's fully consistent with the Institute's leadership position and academic standards. For the world, it's a window into MIT that exhibits our leadership and innovation.”

"Best logo ever!"

Tom Zimmerman

“Working with the team of MIT Press is a great pleasure. I truly admire their enormous dedication to all aspects of scholarly publishing.”

“I like to work with the MIT Press. The combination of geekiness and professionalism exhibited by the staff works for me. In many ways they exhibit everything that is good and noble about the MIT culture.”

“One of the best things, which might momentarily strike someone as as one of the worst things, about the MIT Press is that it finds and nurtures the marginal — ideas and people at, or just beyond, the edge of what the world has yet paid attention to. Their annual hosting of lectures by the new Ig Nobel Prize winners is just the icing on that nutritious, tasty cake.”

Marc Abrahams

“The MIT Press is something exceedingly rare in the space of academic publishing –an iconic brand that is not content to rest on its laurels. For 60 years, they have brought an entrepreneurial spirit and innovation to the field of academic publishing. Their AI-driven approach to accelerating the dissemination of scientific knowledge during the global pandemic with the RR:C19 Journal is just the latest example of how MIT Press is leading a digital-first transformation.”

Vilas Dhar

“As the Technology Press transformed itself into a full-blown research university “MIT Press,” it gained a design sensibility that would be a beacon for decades. Muriel Cooper’s clean logotype set the scene: nothing more than absolutely necessary, and summoning human visual intelligence in parsing a new code. Part of Cooper’s thorough anticipation of a machine learning environment, her standard for the press continues to be upheld: design that is daring, sometimes playful, and always ambitious – yet never obscuring the message of the ideas.”

“The MIT Press, what a journey! From Karl Compton’s newly minted assistant James Killian’s early steps in 1932 establishing the MIT imprint to Lyn Bryants midwifery in 1957 resulting in the birth of the MIT Press in 1961. Carrol Bowen’s appointment as the first Director in 1962 was a leap of faith that was the hall mark of MIT in those exciting days. To top it off, bringing Muriel Cooper over to the Press from the wonderful work she had done to raise the standard of design for MIT publications to International stature was brilliant. As MIT's planner, finding space on the campus for this enterprise over four decades was a great pleasure as I watched Howard, Frank and Ellen carry the press ever upward. What a gift it has been to see the breadth and design quality of the publications that have emerged. What a joy to have been a small part of its life….”

Bob Simha

“MIT Press is not just a leader in publishing open-access books and journals, but also in exploring new ways to support them. It has incubated an innovation lab (Knowledge Futures Group), an open-source publishing platform (PubPub), cutting-edge services (MIT Open Publishing Services), and an academic-led business model (Direct to Open). Its combination of first-rate scholarly publications with creative action on the business and technology of delivering them is very rare and welcome.”

“Publishers are rarely keen on interdisciplinary books, but those are the only ones I write—and they found a steady support at the MIT Press: between 1999 and 2020 it took chances on 15 of them. Thanks for tolerating the transgressions of boundaries!”

“MITP could just as well be FFTP (as in Far From Technology). Its support for architecture is logical but its embrace of the arts is inspirational. Long live the Press!”

“Thanks to MIT Press for taking a chance on a third-year graduate student.”

“For decades, MIT Press has consistently published the most fundamental and ground-breaking work in Brain and Cognitive Sciences—whatever the next 60 years may bring, it seems certain that the Press will remain at the forefront and help shape our discipline.”

“The MIT Press has created a highly distinguished list of books that explore the intersection of science, art, and the humanities, written with the innovation and discipline of MIT itself. The books of the Press have stimulated and a provoked us to think more deeply about who we are and the world we live in.”

“They say that the longer a couple are married the more they come to resemble one another. That is certainly true of MIT Press and the Institute. MIT is constantly pushing back the boundaries of knowledge. MIT Press is constantly expanding what it means to be a university press. This is no more evident than in the remarkable way they have merged a paper press with the demands of electronic publishing. When it comes to flexibility, MIT Press, thy name is Slinky.”

“From its landmark logo (designed by Muriel Cooper) to its watershed books and journals, few academic presses have shaped the form and substantive of scholarly, intellectual, and artistic life over the last sixty years as definitively as MIT Press. MIT Press publications were my gateway drugs into art history and theory as an undergraduate; they provided my daily nourishment as a graduate student; and they constitute a pillar of my intellectual universe as a scholar, teacher, and editor. From its landmark logo (designed by Muriel Cooper) to its watershed books and journals, few academic presses have shaped the form and substantive of scholarly, intellectual, and artistic life over the last sixty years as definitively as MIT Press.”

Noam Elcott