Established in 1922, the University of North Carolina Press was the first university press in the South and one of the first in the nation. UNC Press has earned a distinguished reputation by publishing excellent work on a variety of subjects from the nation’s leading scholars, writers, and intellectuals and by presenting that work effectively to wide-ranging audiences across the globe. Over the years, UNC Press books have won hundreds of prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and those of many national scholarly societies. With more than 5,400 titles published and more than 4,000 titles still in print, UNC Press produces books that endure.
From the start, UNC Press took a different, pioneering approach for a university press, not only focusing on the publication of scholarly works but also creating one of the earliest and strongest regional publishing programs in the country. The Press distinguished itself early on by refusing to shy away from controversial issues of the day, adopting the principle that its books should not merely observe, but seek to understand, explain, and thereby improve the world by challenging personal and public thinking with books that explore important questions, spark lively debates, generate ideas, move fields of inquiry forward, and illuminate the life of the mind. For example, UNC Press was the first scholarly publisher to develop an ongoing program of books by and about African Americans, beginning in the late 1920s. In the 1970s, UNC Press was again in the vanguard, recognizing the emerging interdisciplinary field of women’s studies and taking an early lead in publishing feminist literary and historical works of distinction. Both African American studies and gender and women’s studies remain cornerstones of UNC Press today, and, more recently, the publishing program has helped foster the growing significance of Native American and Indigenous studies.
Since 1997, UNC Press has sent us 47 books covering widespread topics of relevance in primarily History of Medicine and Public Health.