Fonds UBCA-ARC-1304 - UBC Press fonds

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UBC Press fonds

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  • Textual record

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Formerly the UBC Publications Centre fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds

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26.80 m of textual records.

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Administrative history

The UBC Press was established in March 1971 as the incorporated successor to the Publications Centre, which had been the publishing department of the University since 1961. With the change of name, the Press expanded its publishing program. In addition, it broadened its services to the regional, Canadian, and international scholarly communities, frequently providing book production and distribution services to many national and international university presses, cultural institutions, government agencies, and international publishing houses.
The Press has editorial, promotion, and distribution facilities for its books. At the same time, commercial firms, although controlled by the Press, do the design and printing. All books published by the UBC Press are subjected to peer review and must be approved by a committee of faculty members appointed by the University President.
The Press concentrates a significant portion of its book publishing activities in four general areas of Asia and the Pacific, International Law, and Canadian subjects, emphasizing British Columbia. A wide range of academic disciplines in these areas, from the humanities through the sciences, is included. The Press also publishes works of special significance outside these areas when warranted. In addition to books and monographs, several journals and a yearbook are also published in association with the Press. Most notable are the journals Canadian Literature, B.C. Studies, and Pacific Affairs, as together they formed the primary impetus for developing a Publications Centre, turned Press, within the University of British Columbia. These journals retain their "associative" relationship with the UBC Press. More or less concurrently, the Canadian Yearbook of International Law commenced publication under the auspices of the Canadian Branch of the International Law Association, also in association with the UBC Press. Aside from these editorial considerations, the UBC Press has also carried on an active book-publishing program, encouraging faculty members who wish advice on the publishing process to consult the Press.
In the early 1960s, the Executive Director of the UBC Press reported to the Deputy President of the University. The Executive Director also reported to a Faculty Board of 23 members to whom the Director was to submit an Annual Report. While the Board authorized all major policy decisions of the Press, it also facilitated the establishment of a supportive sub-committee whose mandate was to handle routine publishing decisions and any other, less significant, Press affairs. In1998, the UBC Press was granted the official designation of a University Department. As such, both the Press and its Executive Director report directly to the Vice-President, Research. A Publications Committee, as the descendent of the founding "supportive sub-committee," is presently the collective entity responsible for all publishing decisions.
James Banham, Information Officer at the University, acting Executive Director of the Centre during the 1960s, initially oversaw the Publications Centre / UBC Press administration. In 1969, Anthony N. Blicq was appointed Executive Director of the UBC Press. Blicq acted in this capacity until 1983 when Basil Stuart Stubbs was directed to fill the resulting vacancy in an interim capacity. In 1984, James J. Anderson, who served in this executive capacity until 1990, relieved Stubbs. For the following year, Jean Wilson was appointed to the Acting Director until 1991, when R. Peter Milroy received the full executive appointment.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence with both published and prospective authors, other university presses, distributors, agents and departmental staff, reviews and newspaper clippings about published material; minutes of meetings, and reports of financial standing; grant applications, and program and award descriptions. The fonds has been divided into the following series and sub-series: Correspondence (comprised of the following sub-series: Bill C.Y. Li; Jane C. Fredeman and Tony Blicq; Institute of Pacific Relations); Financial; Committees; Grants, Awards, and Programs; Administration and Organization; Other Publishers, Agents and Distributors; Published Works; and Reviews.

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These are institutional records and subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Researcher access to these records is subject to review.

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Finding aids

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Associated materials


Materials in Boxes 58 and 59 were initially included among the president's office records and were transferred in September 2017. Acquired in several accessions from UBC Press, the most recent (Boxes 60 to 99) in 2018. Further accruals expected.

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