Cornell University Press
Cornell University Press was established in 1869, giving it the distinction of being the first university press to be established in the United States, although it was inactive for several decades between 1890 and 1930. From that beginning, the Press has grown to be a major scholarly publisher, offering 120 new titles a year in many disciplines, including anthropology, art history, Asian studies, classics, cultural studies, history, literary criticism and theory, medieval studies, New York City and State, philosophy, politics and international relations, security studies, Slavic and Eurasian studies, sociology, and urban studies. Our many books in the life sciences and natural history, including field guides, are published under the Comstock Publishing Associates imprint, and a distinguished list of books in labor and employment relations, the health care professions, and human resources is offered under our ILR Press imprint.
Since early 1993, the acquisitions, editorial, production, and marketing departments of the Press have been located in Sage House, where the staff keeps company with the house's carved bats and stained-glass birds. Sage House was built in the 1880s by Henry Williams Sage, then chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, and was designed by William Henry Miller, the architect later responsible for many important buildings on the Cornell campus. Contractor and chief mason were master craftsmen who had come to Ithaca from England, bringing old-world skills to the construction of the early campus.
The Press's financial department—as well as CUP Services, which handles customer service and distribution not only for the Press but also for other publishers—is located at our Cascadilla Street offices in downtown Ithaca. Staff at both locations may be reached through our Contacts page.
Publishing with Cornell University Press
Cornell University Press publishes nonfiction, with particular strengths in anthropology, Asian studies, biological sciences, classics, history, industrial relations and workplace issues, literary criticism and theory, medieval studies, natural history, New York City and State, politics and international relations, and sociology. Submissions are not invited in poetry or fiction.
If you are not currently working with one of our acquisitions editors, please refer to the Acquisitions section of the Contacts page of this website for a list of our editors and their areas of expertise
Submitting Manuscript Proposals
For initial submissions, we prefer to receive a proposal describing your project, a table of contents, a sample chapter or two, and a copy of your curriculum vitae or resume. Please also include information about length (in numbers of words or double-spaced manuscript pages), intended audience, and plans for illustrations. If your manuscript is currently under consideration by another press, please include that information in your letter to us. Mail your proposal to:
Cornell University Press
Attn: Acquisitions Department
Sage House, 512 East State Street
Ithaca, New York 14850
Please see our author guidelines for more information on manuscript preparation.
Our Environmental Policies
Cornell University Press, along with a growing number of other publishers, believes that it can do much to encourage and effect environmentally responsible practices within our industry. Production and design staff have an especially important role in this process: by performing a life-cycle analysis of the products we depend on, such as paper and ink, we begin to understand the dramatic impact our choices have, not only on the environment but also on how our suppliers strive to meet our needs.
In 1999, thanks to the efforts of Lyons Falls Pulp and Paper, the National Wildlife Federation's regional SmartWood certification initiative, and the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group, Cornell University Press was the first book publisher in the world to produce a book on paper certified to have come from a well-managed forest.
The Press made a formal commitment in 2001 to reduce its ecological footprint and to encourage other publishers to follow suit. As of the fall of 2004, 85% of Cornell Press titles are published on recycled paper that contains a minimum of 30% post consumer waste (in actuality, the vast majority of Press titles contain 60% to 100% pcw) and is free of endangered forest fiber. This paper is also processed chlorine free.
And in late 2004, former Cornell production manager Deborah Bruner founded the AAUP Eco Task Force, whose objectives include educating publishers about eco-friendly opportunities, coordinating the eco-friendly efforts of American and Canadian university presses, exploring the use of alternative (tree-free) fibers, and more.