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The History of Oxford University Press: Volume III1896 to 1970$

Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568406

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568406.001.0001

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(p.815) Appendix I Chronology, 1896–1970

(p.815) Appendix I Chronology, 1896–1970

The History of Oxford University Press: Volume III
Oxford University Press


New York branch opens.

First issue of The Periodical (brochure containing information about OUP books, sent free 4–5 times a year to subscribers throughout the world; informative and often witty, an innovation in publishing); ceases publication in 1978.


Philip Lyttelton Gell, Secretary to the Delegates since 1884, resigns and is replaced by Charles Cannan.


The Yattendon Hymnal, edited by Robert Bridges, printed by Horace Hart using seventeenth-century Walpergen fonts; marks the beginning of OUP’s involvement in music printing.

A second Fourdrinier machine (an enormous paper-making apparatus) installed at Wolvercote Mill.


Humphrey Sumner Milford joins the Press as Assistant Secretary at age 23. The Oxford Book of English Verse, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch; he later compiled the Oxford Book of Ballads (1910), Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (1912), and Oxford Book of English Prose (1925).


Monotype Department established at the Walton Street Printing House.


Canadian branch opens in Toronto.

Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford (original, in-house version published 1893).

OUP takes over the Journal of Theological Studies from Macmillan.


Financial responsibility for the printing of bibles and prayer books transferred to London.

Milford leaves Oxford for London.

R.W. Chapman becomes Assistant Secretary in Oxford.

Henry Frowde (OUP Publisher, London) acquires sixty-six volumes of the World’s Classics from the bankrupt firm Grant Richards.

H. W. and F. G. Fowler, The King’s English.

First issue of the Quarterly Journal of Medicine.

First volume of the complete correspondence of Erasmus (Opus Epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami), edited by P. S. Allen; the series was completed in 1958.


Milford cements partnership with Hodder & Stoughton (the ‘joint venture’) to produce schoolbooks, children’s books, and medical books.

Announcement of A System of Medicine (7 vols.) by William Osler, a Delegate since 1905.

The OUP editors Herbert Ely and Charles James L’Estrange begin publishing children’s books under the pseudonyms ‘Herbert Strang’ and ‘Mrs. Herbert Strang’.


Australian branch opens in Melbourne.

Charles Williams begins his 37-year career as an editor with the London Business.


Scofield Bible published by the New York branch; two million copies sold by 1945.


Concise Oxford Dictionary of English, edited by H. W. and F. G. Fowler.


Indian branch, Bombay, established by E. V. Rieu.


OUP agency created in Shanghai.

OUP opens a depot in Madras, which quickly becomes an office.

Henry Frowde retires; Humphrey Milford promoted to Publisher.

The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.


Plans for a roof over the quadrangle at Walton Street; project fortunately abandoned.

Why We Are at War: Great Britain’s Case, by the Oxford Modern History Faculty, the first of the Oxford Pamphlets supporting the war; the series reached eighty-seven titles by September 1915. Bible Press produces 4.5 million bibles for use in the field.


South African branch opens in Cape Town.

Calcutta office opens; becomes a branch in 1920.

John de Monins Johnson appointed Assistant Secretary.

Death of Sir James Murray, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Horace Hart, Printer from 1883, resigns; Frederick Hall appointed to the position.


Bible Press and Learned Press combined.

First OUP General Catalogue.


Press accepts gift of the Dictionary of National Biography from the firm Smith, Elder and agrees to continue the series.


Death of Cannan.

Geoffrey Cumberlege takes over OUP India from E. V. Rieu.

First issue of The Clarendonian, the publication of the craftsmen of the Press; ceases in 1983.


OUP office in Copenhagen opened by H. Bohun Beet.

R. W. Chapman appointed Secretary to the Delegates.


New Bindery opens.


Kenneth Sisam appointed junior assistant secretary.


Milford formally launches OUP’s Music Department with Hubert Foss as manager.

A. L. P. Norrington joins the London Business.


London office moves to Amen House, Warwick Square.

Pocket Oxford Dictionary, edited by H. W. and F. G. Fowler.


Opening of Jordan Hill warehouse and sports ground north of Oxford.

Electric light installed at the Press.

Frederick Hall dies; John Johnson becomes Printer to the University.

Harvey Cushing, Life of Sir William Osler, published by OUP New York, wins Pulitzer Prize.


H. W. Fowler, Modern English Usage.

E. C. Parnwell asked by Milford to ‘become expert in overseas education’.


OUP office in Leipzig opened by H. Bohun Beet.

The journal Forestry begins publication.


First edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (10 vols.) completed; supplements begin to appear in the 1930s.

The Lantern, an in-house quarterly about the activities of the London Business, begins publication; ceases in 1955.


Charles Batey joins the Press as manager of the Composing Rooms.

Copenhagen office closes.

Amen House, Toronto, opens.


Neasden warehouse opens in the north-west suburbs of London.

International Series of Monographs on Physics launched with the publication of Paul Dirac’s Principles of Quantum Mechanics.

Quarterly Journal of Mathematics begins publication.


Parnwell and Laurence Faucett launch the Oxford English Course.

Reincorporation of the New York branch.


Music Department moves to 36 Soho Square.

The Oxford Companion to English Literature, edited by Paul Harvey; he subsequently edits The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (1937) and The Oxford Companion to French Literature (1959).

Oxford Engineering Science series begins.


Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.


G. N. Clark, The Later Stuarts—first volume in the Oxford History of England (the last volume in the series, A. J. P. Taylor’s English History, 1914–1945, published in 1965).

Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History (eventually 10 vols., 1934–54).

L. F. Powell’s revision of G. Birkbeck Hill’s edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson (4 vols.).

Leipzig and Paris offices close.


W. E. Johns, Biggles Hits the Trail (first of over twenty Biggles titles published by OUP until 1942–3, when Johns moves to Hodder & Stoughton). Oxford Lectern Bible.


The Oxford Book of Modern Verse, edited by W. B. Yeats.

First publication of the series Oxford Studies in Economics, edited by G. D. H. Cole and D. H. Macgregor.


R. E. Hawkins becomes general manager of OUP India (retires 1970).

Hugh M. Last resigns as Delegate in protest against management of the Press (the ‘rumpus’).


The Oxford Book of Light Verse, edited by W. H. Auden.

Percy Scholes, The Oxford Companion to Music.


OUP prints geographic handbooks and secret government documents, including codebooks, during the war.


Oxford Pamphlets on World Affairs (by 1945, seventy titles published in Oxford; similar series published by the US, Canadian, and Indian branches).

Amen House closed for the duration of the war, its staff evacuated to Southfield House, Oxford.

Henry Z. Walck becomes manager of the New York branch (1939–48).

Wolvercote Mill becomes powered solely by electricity.


OUP acquires the Home University Library from Thornton Butterworth.


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.


R. W. Chapman retires as Secretary, replaced by Kenneth Sisam. Norrington appointed Assistant Secretary.


Cumberlege succeeds Milford as Publisher.

E. K. Chambers, English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages—first volume in the Oxford History of English Literature; the series was completed in 1997.


John Johnson retires as Printer, replaced by Charles Batey.


New Zealand branch opens in Wellington.

Oxford Illustrated Dickens (to 1959).


Sisam retires as Secretary, replaced by A. L. P. Norrington.

D. M. Davin becomes Assistant Secretary.

Oxford Junior Encyclopedia (first 13 vols.).

Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of English, edited by A. S. Hornby, E. V. Gatenby, and Harold Wakefield; eventually becomes OUP’s all-time best-selling non-religious title.


Nigerian office opens in Ibadan; becomes a branch in 1954.


New York branch incorporated under US law as a private company.

Music Department moves to 44 Conduit Street.


Oxford Atlas (first publication of the Cartographic Department).


Pakistan branch opens in Karachi; stockholding branch opens in Dhaka.

Accra office (later a branch) opens.

The Cartographic Department moves to 37a St Giles, Oxford.


East African branch opens in Nairobi.

Norrington leaves the Press to become President, Trinity College, Oxford; C. H. Roberts appointed Secretary (retires in 1974).

Harry Carter appointed Press archivist.

Rosemary Sutcliff, Eagle of the Ninth, the first volume in her series of children’s novels set in Roman Britain.


Singapore office opens.

Oxford School Atlas.


Geoffrey Cumberlege retires as Publisher, replaced by John Brown.

New York branch publishes the first three Galaxy Books paperbacks.

The Record, an annual chronicle of OUP and branch activities, begins publication; ceases in 2005.

Tim All Alone, written and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, wins the first Kate

Greenaway Medal for ‘distinguished illustration in a book for children’.

Mabel George becomes head of the Children’s Department (retires in 1977).


East Asian office opens in Kuala Lumpur; becomes a branch in 1958. Tokyo office opens; becomes a branch in 1966. Wolvercote Mill renovated.


Batey retires as Printer, replaced by Vivian Ridler.


Lagos office opens.

Helen Gardner appointed Delegate, the first woman to hold the position.


First twelve Oxford Paperbacks published.

IBM punch-card system begins operating at Neasden warehouse.


Hong Kong office opens.

New Testament of the New English Bible; two million copies sold in two months.

The Concept of Law, by H. L. A. Hart, a Delegate since 1960.


Three Crowns series of African literature begins (ends in 1976).

Oxford Bible Atlas.

Brian Wildsmith, ABC, wins the Kate Greenaway Medal.


The OUP list comprises 15,250 titles.

OUP begins publishing Oxford Medieval Texts after acquiring Nelson’s Medieval Texts.

Atlas of Britain and Northern Ireland.


Manufacturing at Wolvercote Mill partially computerized.


London Business moves from Amen House to Ely House, Dover Street.

Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, edited by C. T. Onions (commissioned in 1933).


Committee on the University Press appointed to investigate the function, organization, and operations of the Press and its relationship to the University; chaired by Sir Humphrey Waldock.


Dar es Salaam office becomes a branch. Patristic Greek Lexicon (begun in 1907).


Waldock Report.

Old Testament of the New English Bible.

D. M. Davin appointed Academic Publisher (retires 1978).

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