The Press traces its origins to 1915, when Edmond Meany's Governors of Washington, Territorial and State was issued. The first book to bear the University of Washington Press imprint, an edition of The Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey edited by Frederick M. Padelford, appeared in 1920. Since that time the Press has published approximately 4,400 books, of which about 1,400 are currently in print. Today we publish about seventy new titles each year.

From the beginning the Press has reflected the University's major academic strengths. Building on those strengths, combined with a vigorous creativity in developing regional partners, the University of Washington Press has achieved recognition as the leading publisher of scholarly books and distinguished works of regional nonfiction in the Pacific Northwest.

University of Washington Press

Former President Mark A. Emmert, affirming the University of Washington's commitment to scholarly publishing, has stated: "It has been said that a great university deserves a great university press, and we are fortunate to have one of the best. Books published by the University of Washington Press carry the name of the University far and wide, serving the international community of scholars and citizens of our own region."

Washington's books have won many prizes for scholarship and literary excellence, as well as for graphic design. Recent awards include:


Fields of Publication

Our titles cover a wide variety of academic fields with especially distinguished lists in Asian studies, environmental history, Western history, natural history, anthropology, Western history, Asian American studies, and art. We are recognized as the foremost publisher in the world on the art and culture of the Northwest Coast Indians and Alaskan Eskimos. The following edited series are examples of our focused editorial program that brings distinction to the Press and the University:

Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies, edited by Charles F. Keyes, Vincente L. Rafael, and Laurie J. Sears

Culture, Place, and Nature: Studies in Anthropology and Environment, edited by K. Sivaramakrishnan

In Vivo: The Cultural Mediations of Biomedical Science, edited by Philip Thurtle and Robert Mitchell

Korean Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, edited by Clark W. Sorenson

Pacific Northwest Poetry Series, edited by Linda Bierds

Studies on Ethnic Groups in China, edited by Stevan Harrell

Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books, edited by William Cronon

In response to two successfully completed National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grants, private gifts have enabled the Press to inaugurate the following funded series:

Capell Family Books

China Program Books

Classics of Chinese Thought Books

Donald R. Ellegood International Publications

Emil and Kathleen Sick Book Series in Western History and Biography

Ganharan Buddhist Texts

Robert B. Heilman Books

In Vivo

Charles and Jane Keyes Endowment for Books on Southeast Asia

Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists

McLellan Books Endowment

Modern Language Initiative

New Directions in Scandinavian Studies

Nordic Film Classics

Pacific Northwest Poetry Series

Ruth E. Kirk Books

Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies

Samuel and Althea Stroum Books

Studies on Ethnic Groups in China Series

Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books

V Ethel Willis White Books

Thomas T. Wilson Book Fund

Our publishing program has important implications beyond the actual books it produces. We have helped the University to support the works of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Korean Studies Department of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE), and other divisions of the University for which we either publish or distribute publications. These collaborations reinforce the ties of the University to its community.

We have been proud to publish books by several Nobel laureates, as well as many other internationally known figures in the humanities, arts, and sciences. We are proud, too, of the many young scholars, poets, and artists whose first books have appeared under our imprint.


Although the Press is an integral division of the University, it operates with considerable autonomy. Like most other book publishers, it has no printing facilities. Composition, printing, and binding are purchased under contract. The Press is not involved with production of the University's magazines, newspapers, bulletins, or catalogues. As a nonprofit cultural organization, its sole function is to find, develop, select, and publish scholarship of high quality and enduring value.

The imprint of the University of Washington Press is overseen by a faculty committee appointed by the President of the University. The approval of the University Press Committee is required before any book may be published. The Press's editors work closely with the faculty committee to select those books that will carry the University of Washington Press imprint. About one-third of the books published by the Press originate within the University of Washington. From more than 1,000 manuscripts and proposals submitted to us annually from all over the world we select only about 7 percent for publication.

With a dedicated and highly professional staff, the Press provides a complete range of publishing services - copyediting, design, production supervision, advertising, publicity, and marketing. Since 2012 the Press has been under the leadership of Director Nicole Mitchell. Her in-house management team includes, Tom Helleberg, Chief Financial Officer; Larin McLaughlin, Editor in Chief; Jacqueline Volin, Editing, Design, and Production Manager; and Rachael Levay, Marketing and Sales Director.

We at the Press are constantly aware of the magic that books can evoke and the far-reaching influence they can exert. We are proud of our books, and we care deeply about the quality of our publications, their physical appearance, and their effective distribution.

Beyond the University

The University of Washington Press maintains close ties with other university publishers. As a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1947, the Press has hosted national and regional meetings, and its staff has participated actively in Association programs.

In recent years, the Press has established copublishing and distribution relationships with a growing list of museums, university presses in Canada, China, Australia, and other institutions throughout the world. This activity enables us to give worldwide distribution to many valuable publications. Mindful of the shrinking world, the University of Washington Press has long placed special emphasis on our role in the two-way exchange of knowledge and information internationally. The books that bear our imprint are among the University's most significant ambassadors to the outside world. They are distributed through overseas marketing consortia and copublishing arrangements, and many have been translated into more than ten languages. We were in the vanguard of publishers who established reciprocal ties with the People's Republic of China and Russia.

We eagerly anticipate the challenges of the next decades. As new technology makes possible almost limitless access to information and data, our traditional role as "gatekeepers" of quality in the publication of scholarship is sure to assume even greater importance. At the same time, we are committed to developing new ways of serving our university, our region, and the world beyond.