Harvard University (Photo by James Trosh)

Harvard University Press, also abbreviated as HUP, is a large publishing enterprise based at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publisher also maintains an international office in London. It was founded in January 1913 and now publishes about 200 new academic titles each year.

The press prints a number of materials on various academic subjects. These include art, world history, politics, popular culture, and sociology. Many professors and other notable authors have had their works published by Harvard University Press. Some of these authors include Carol Gilligan, Walter Benjamin, John Rawls, Emily Dickinson, and Helen Vendler.

Harvard University Press is known for what many refer to as the “Harvard comma” or the “serial comma.” This punctuation mark, which comes right before a coordinating conjunction like “or” or “and,” is prevalent in all Harvard publications. For example, the phrase “cats, dogs, and birds” contains the Harvard comma before the word “birds.” There has been much debate about the usage of this comma. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the comma is recommended in American English grammar, such as in academic writing. However, journalists who write news stories tend to avoid using it for purposes of brevity, which is a primary recommendation in the Associated Press Stylebook.

The following textbooks were printed by Harvard University Press:

– The Harvard Dictionary of Music (Harvard University Press Reference Library) by Don Michael Randel (2003)

A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America by Aristide R. Zolberg (2006)

Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari`a by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im (2008)

Greek Thought: A Guide to Classical Knowledge (Harvard University Press Reference Library) by Jacques Brunschwig, Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd, Catherine Porter, and Julia Annas (2000)

Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions by Thomas K. McCraw (1998)

If you need one of these books for an upcoming class that you are taking, you can check for it in your local campus bookstore or at an independent textbook outlet. You can also shop online for textbooks and use Textbooks.org as a resource to compare prices on all of the books that are either required or recommended for your courses.

For more information on Harvard University Press, check out Max Hall’s 1986 book Harvard University Press: A History. It explores the early years of the press with stories and anecdotes that also span the first six decades of its existence and accomplishments.