Michigan State University Press is the scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University, the nation’s pioneer land-grant university (the institution that served as the prototype for schools established under the Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862). Although a formal press was not established at MSU until the middle of the 20th century, scholarly publishing was an important part of the institution’s mission from early on; scholarly publishing at Michigan State significantly predates the establishment of its press. By the 1890s the institution’s Experiment Stations began issuing a broad range of influential publications in the natural sciences (including a beautifully illustrated Birds of Michigan in 1892) and as early as 1876, professor A.J. Cook commissioned a Lansing printer to issue his popular Manual of the Apiary, which ran through numerous editions and remained in print for nearly half a century.
Founded in 1947 and located on the MSU campus in East Lansing, the press publishes principally in the areas of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, with special emphasis in African studies, African American studies, American studies, American Indian studies, creative nonfiction, environmental science and natural history, Great Lakes studies, immigration studies, Latino studies, politics and the global economy, poetry, US history, urban studies, and women’s studies. The Press currently issues some 40 new titles a year and publishes nine scholarly journals, with a backlist of over 600 active titles. Beginning in 2008, the Press has moved aggressively in the area of digital distribution, and nearly all new titles are simultaneously available electronically.