No Baggage, Only Possibilities: Starting a University Press from Scratch

Prof David Pankow
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University presses provide ideal environments in which to explore new paradigms of dissemination for scholarly content. Unfortunately, most university presses are weighed down by a long tradition of publishing books using conventional printing technologies that drain capital and result in large quantities of unsold copies. The RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press at Rochester Institute of Technology is a recently established university press committed to crafting a new publishing model that is progressive, innovative, and nimble. Situated in an institution well-known for its computer, design, photography, and printing technology programs, the Press is able to take advantage of some extraordinary resources to explore the future of academic publishing, including print-on-demand and born-digital editions.
This paper will discuss the technology and economic strategies implemented by the Press, with a special focus on a collaborative research experiment to produce a high-quality, short-run color publication on a digital press. The result was the acclaimed book, The American Image: U.S Posters from the 19th to the 21st Century.

Keywords: University Press, New Publishing Model, Future of Academic Publishing, Print-on-demand, Born-digital, collaborative research, short-run color, digital press, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cary Graphic Arts Press, economic strategies
Stream: Publishing
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof David Pankow

Director, Cary Graphic Arts Press
RIT Libraries, Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York, USA

In addition to being the the Director of the Cary Graphic Arts Press, I am also the Curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, a rare book library of international reputation devoted to documenting the history of graphic communication technologies, including the digital revolution of today. I have been the editor of Printing History, the scholarly journal of the American Printing History Association, from 1990 to the present. The Cary Graphic Arts Press was established out of my interest in the development of new publishing technologies and how these technologies influence the creation of literature and scholarly content. I have a masters degree (MA) in English literature from Brooklyn College and a master of library science degree (MLS) in rare book library administration from Columbia University. I am also interested in the long-term challenges of storing and accessing device-dependent or otherwise digital books for future use.

Ref: B07P0115