University of British Columbia Press

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University of British Columbia Press

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Dates of existence



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.


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University of British Columbia. Publications Centre (1961-1971)

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