By a vote of the Corporation recently passed the University is to have a Press of its own. The new Press is established with the purpose of enabling the University to publish officially books of high scholarly standard whether produced within of without the University.
All the work now done by the small plant in the basement of University Hall, such as the printing of examinations, reports, catalogues and various pamphlets, will be undertaken by the new Press, in addition to as much book printing as can be handled.
Distinguished Men in Charge.
The Press will be in charge of a Board of Syndics, who will decide upon the books to be published. The Board consists of the following members: Robert Bacon '80, chairman, Fellow of Harvard College; George Foot Moore, h.'06, Professor of the History of Religions; Arthur Edwin Kelley, h.'06, Professor of Electrical Engineering; George Lyman Kittredge '82, Professor of English; Charles Herbert Thurber of the firm of Ginn & Company: Edwin Francis Gay, Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration; and Walter Bradford Cannon '96, Professor of Physiology at the Medical School. The Director of the Press is Mr. Charles Chester Lane '04, the Publication Agent of the University.
To Enlarge Old Plant.
Unfortunately, there is no immediate prospect of a special building for the Press, so that the plant in the basement of University Hall will have to be extended to occupy the rest of the basement. It is not intended that this shall be a commercial publishing establishment, as the University Presses of Yale and Chicago are tending to become, but rather a centre of dissemination for scholarly works.
In spite of the limited resources in University Hall, the Publication Office has, in the past, been able to issue a few special works from time to time, amounting to seven periodicals and some seventy or eighty books.
This publishing activity is due mainly to the efforts of Mr. C. C. Lane '04, the Publication Agent. When Mr. Lane was appointed to the office five years ago, nothing was printed here except official departmental pamphlets, catalogues, examinations and various reports. The establishment of the Press means that this business which has been carried on practically without capital, and therefore in a very limited way and with imperfect means, will now have a substantial working capital.
History of Harvard Printing.
The establishment of the Harvard University Press recalls the fact that the first printing press in America, north of Mexico, and for many years the only one in British America, was set up at Harvard College in 1639. It was the gift of Joseph Glover and "some gentlemen of Amsterdam," and was set up by Stephen Daye, the printer who had been brought over for the purpose by Glover. President Dunster married Mrs. Glover, and the press was set up in his house, where it remained until 1655.
In 1654 it was taken into the service of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, who bought new type. In 1658 it was used for printing John Ellot's Indian Bible.
In 1700 it was given up, and for sixty years Harvard's printing was let out to commercial printers. Then another firm was started, from which is descended the so-called "University Press" which, however, has no official connection with the University. About twenty-five years ago, the University started a press of its own in Dane Hall, and later moved it to its present location in University Hall.
Modelled on English Plan.
The new University Press is modelled after those of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. They were established early in the sixteenth century and because of the excellence of the work done were granted the monopoly on the publishing of the Bible in England. Chiefly as a result of this source of income, they maintain themselves without a large endowment fund, and are able to publish a large number of books annually