|Parent company||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Founder||James R. Killian Jr.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|Distribution||Penguin Random House Publishing Services|
|Key people||Amy Brand|
|Publication types||Books, academic journals|
The MIT Press is a university press affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Press has been a pioneer in the Open Access movement in academic publishing and publishes a number of academic journals. The organization also operates the MIT Press Bookstore, which is one of the few retail bookstores run by a university publisher.
MIT Press traces its origins back to 1926 when MIT published a lecture series entitled Problems of Atomic Dynamics given by the visiting German physicist and later Nobel Prize winner, Max Born. In 1932, MIT's publishing operations were first formally instituted by the creation of an imprint called Technology Press.: 13 This imprint was founded by James R. Killian, Jr., at the time editor of MIT's alumni magazine and later to become MIT president. Technology Press published eight titles independently, then in 1937 entered into an arrangement with John Wiley & Sons in which Wiley took over marketing and editorial responsibilities.: 13
In 1961, the centennial of MIT's founding charter, the publisher was renamed as "The MIT Press".: 14 In 1962 the association with Wiley came to an end after a further 125 titles had been published. The Press has since functioned as an independent publishing house.
A European marketing office was opened in 1969, and a Journals division was added in 1972. In the late 1970s, responding to changing economic conditions, the publisher narrowed the focus of their catalog to a few key areas, initially architecture, computer science and artificial intelligence, economics, and cognitive science.
Since then, the MIT Press has broadened the scope of its publishing activities to encompass new titles in the humanities, while retaining its strengths in science and technology. The Press has been a pioneer in the Open Access publishing movement, which seeks to offer unimpeded access to fresh academic research to the entire world.
In January 2010, MIT Press published its 9000th title, and in 2012 the Press celebrated its 50th anniversary, including publishing a 32-page commemorative booklet on paper and online. In 2022 the Press celebrated its 60th anniversary, releasing a commemorative 14-panel Z-folded pamphlet on paper and online to highlight significant titles it has published over the decades.
MIT Press co-founded the distributor TriLiteral LLC with Yale University Press and Harvard University Press. TriLiteral was acquired by LSC Communications in 2018.
In July 2020, MIT Press transitioned its worldwide sales and distribution to Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
MIT Press primarily publishes academic and general interest titles in the fields of Art and Architecture; Visual and Cultural Studies; Cognitive Science; Philosophy; Linguistics; Computer Science; Economics; Finance and Business; Environmental Science; Political Science; Life Sciences; Neuroscience; New Media; and Science, Technology, and Society.
MIT Press is a distributor for Semiotext(e), Goldsmiths Press, Strange Attractor Press, Sternberg Press, Terra Nova Press, Urbanomic, and Sequence Press. In 2000, the MIT Press created CogNet, an online resource for the study of the brain and the cognitive sciences.
In 1981, MIT Press published its first book under the Bradford Books imprint, Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology by Daniel C. Dennett.: 14
In 2018, the Press and the MIT Media Lab launched the Knowledge Futures Group to develop and deploy open access publishing technology and platforms.
In 2019, the Press launched the MIT Press Reader, a digital magazine that draws on the Press's archive and family of authors to produce adapted excerpts, interviews, and other original works. The publication describes itself as one which "aims to illuminate the bold ideas and voices that make up the Press's expansive catalog, to revisit overlooked passages, and to dive into the stories that inspired the books".
Since 1962, the MIT Press has used a colophon or publisher's logo created by its longtime design director, Muriel Cooper. The design is based on a highly abstracted version of the lower-case letters "mitp", with the ascender of the "t" at the fifth stripe and the descender of the "p" at the sixth stripe the only differentiation. In 2015, the colophon also served as an important reference point for the redesign of the MIT Media Lab logo by Pentagram.
In 2011, a custom bookcase in the form of the MIT Press colophon was displayed at the MIT Museum as part of the MIT 150 exhibition, commemorating the sesquicentennial of MIT's founding.: 31
In 2023. the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City acquired the MIT Press colophon into its permanent design collection.
MIT Press is a leader in open access book publishing. They published their first open access book in 1995 with the publication of William J. Mitchell's City of Bits, which appeared simultaneously in print and in a dynamic, open web edition. They now publish open access books, textbooks, and journals. Open access journals include American Journal of Law and Equality, Computational Linguistics, Data Intelligence, Harvard Data Science Review, Network Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Language, Open Mind, Projections, Quantitative Science Studies, Rapid Reviews: COVID-19, Transactions of the Association of Computational Linguistics, and Thresholds.
In 2021, the Press launched Direct to Open, a framework for open access monographs. In 2022, Direct to Open published 80 monographs. MIT Press Open Architecture and Urban Studies is a digital collection of classic and previously out-of-print architecture and urban studies books hosted on the digital book platform, MIT Press Direct.
In 2019, the MIT Press partnered with Candlewick Press to launch two new imprints for young readers, MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press, to publish books for children and young adults on STEAM topics. In this pioneering partnership, MIT Press will review outside proposals for new books, as well as proposals generated by its own staff. After editorial evaluation for accuracy, books in process will be handed off to Candlewick, which will oversee design, marketing, promotion, and sales of the new titles.
Since 1980, the MIT Press Bookstore has been a regional attraction in the heart of the Kendall Square technology and innovation hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The bookstore is one of a small number of such outlets operated by any university publisher. It has offered a complete selection of Press titles for browsing and retail purchase, plus a large selection of complementary works from other academic and trade publishers, including magazines and academic journals.
Starting in October 2016, the Bookstore was temporarily relocated to Central Square, just north of the original location of the MIT Museum, because of extensive construction in Kendall Square. In 2022, the Bookstore moved into a new building at 314 Main Street, adjacent to a newly-renovated subway entrance to Kendall/MIT station. Sharing the same building, in 2022 the MIT Museum moved to Kendall Square for the first time, including its newly-expanded museum store.
The relocated bookstore has adopted the slogan "Kendall Square's Underground Bookstore", acknowledging its underground location below the MIT Museum (although with a large opening affording a direct view into its space from the street). In addition to expanding its coverage of academic and technical publications in both the sciences and the humanities, the MIT Press Bookstore features an expanded kid-friendly area dedicated to educational books for children and pre-teens. The bookstore also features a selection of travel and historical guides to Boston and the surrounding region, from a variety of publishers.
Main category: MIT Press academic journals
Arts and humanities
International affairs, history, and political science
Science and technology