Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Putting the “Purdue” in Purdue University Press: Letter from the Director

August 24th, 2020

This post was written by the director of Purdue University Press, Justin Race. It is the first in a series celebrating PUP’s 60th Anniversary by featuring the work the Press does on and around campus. You can find the whole series, Putting the “Purdue” in Purdue University Press, here.


Though obvious, it bears stating: every university press belongs to a particular university. Though we publish authors who are located across the world and seek a global audience, it is Purdue that we serve first and foremost. In a broad sense, that means projecting the university brand to readers everywhere. In a more immediate sense, it means partnering with the Purdue community to produce and disseminate the worthwhile and impactful scholarship being done right in our backyard.

Each year we publish a volume with the Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement—books that are freely available open access through Purdue e-Pubs. In November we will publish our eightieth book in the Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures series through a decades-long partnership with the School of Languages and Cultures. Our New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond series showcases cutting-edge research on the interplay between people and animals. We handle the review, editing, and publication of all the reports of the Joint Transportation Research Program, including each year’s Road School proceedings. And just a month ago we announced a new partnership with the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence to launch a series on careers in higher education.

As the university is committed to student success, so is our press, offering two student-focused journals: the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research and the Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement. Both are open access—in addition to eight other open access journals sponsored and edited by members of Purdue.

Last year we helped celebrate Purdue’s sesquicentennial with two definitive, beautiful histories about the university and student life: Ever True and Purdue at 150. Both are part of our Founders Series, which includes a multitude of works on the university and its impact. We have always published departmental histories, most recently A Passion for Excellence: The History of Aviation Education at Purdue University.

Here in the “cradle of astronauts,” we have a ranging list of titles on space, including two volumes of letters written to Neil Armstrong, capitalizing on the collection of his papers held by the university’s Archives and Special Collections.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, but rather a sampling of the value a press can provide to its parent institution, which we have been doing for sixty years and counting. From giving students their first publication credit to producing government reports to publishing specialized monographs to documenting the university’s history to hosting a wide array of book series and journals edited by our faculty: our press is active throughout our community, working toward student success, fulfilling our mission as a land-grant university, and bringing to the world the worthwhile scholarship done here. Purdue University Press truly belongs to all of us.