Pacific University Press looks to expand

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Most students are aware of the many resources the library offers, but one service they may not know about is the Pacific University Press. Operating out of the university’s library, the Press is a publishing platform for works ranging anywhere from short stories to reference books.

Isaac Gilman, Pacific librarian and Press director, said he was inspired to start the Press after seeing a chance to build on some of the publishing services the library was already offering.

“We’d been publishing some different scholarly and professional journals since about 2009, and we had experimented with some different book projects, but it seemed like there was an opportunity to formalize that by starting a press and publishing books on a regular basis,” Gilman said.

There are three imprints under the Press umbrella that publish different types of books. 1849 Editions publish literary works such as poetry and fiction, while Tualatin Books publish works used in the classroom, such as textbooks, or books used in the field, like manuals. Pacific University Press will publish traditional scholarly works.

The Press has published two books since it was first established in 2015. “When the Rewards Can Be So Great” is a collection of works on the topic of writing by faculty in Pacific’s Master of Fine Arts program, and faculty member Kwame Dawes is the editor. The second published work, “Transformed” by William Graves, is about the renovation of Oregon Health and Science University in 1988 after Dr. Peter Kohler became president of the university.

According to Gilman, the short term future plans for the Press are to slowly grow and expand the publishing output and to eventually be publishing five books a year. This is because publishing five books a year is one of
the requirements for membership of the American Association of University Presses.

“I would like to also build on the staff, which right now it is very limited,” Gilman said. “We only have one person in the library who is working on the Press. We’re both only using part of our time on it, so eventually I’d like to get some dedicated full time staff.”

Gilman also said the Press is exploring opportunities to partner with Pacific’s MFA program in the future.

“My hope is that we will continue to draw in authors and reviewers and other people from the MFA program who are interested in being involved with the Press,” Gilman said.


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