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Brandeis University Press acquires UPNE book list

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 1/8/2021 5:40:01 PM
Modified: 1/10/2021 8:49:01 PM

LEBANON — Two years after it shut down, Lebanon-based University Press of New England’s book list has been acquired by Brandeis University Press, potentially giving UPNE’s old titles new life in the hands of a growing publisher.

The acquisition provides Brandeis with more than 400 titles that were published under the academic UPNE name and its general readership imprint ForeEdge, each which ceased issuing new books when UPNE closed in 2018.

UPNE was a former partnership between Dartmouth College Press and Brandeis University which at one time had as many as 11 New England college presses in its consortium. By 2018, however, after years of retrenchment and upheaval in the publishing industry, the partners had dwindled to only Dartmouth and Brandeis before it ceased operating altogether.

UPNE published books under the names of University Press of New England, ForeEdge, Brandeis University Press and Dartmouth College Press.

Under the deal announced Friday, Brandeis will manage all UPNE and ForeEdge titles, including promotion, reprints and selling rights, while Dartmouth retains titles published under its name, said Sue Ramin, director of Brandeis University Press.

Ramin, in an interview, said the acquisition of the UPNE booklist will provide Brandeis with a broad array of authors on a variety of topics — both academic and general interest — that will expand the publisher’s audience.

“The core of our list has been Jewish titles but (UPNE) opens it up to so many different topic areas,” Ramin said. (Brandeis University, based in Waltham, Mass., was founded after World War II by members of the Jewish community at a time when Jews faced discrimination in higher education).

Ramin said her goal is to comb through the UPNE and ForeEdge catalogs and see which books could be reissued.

“I want to work with authors to see if we can update the book, write a new introduction. It will give these books a whole new life, ” she said.

Brandeis has already reissued such UPNE-published books as Georgia O’Keeffe, A Life by Roxana Robinson, Bark, A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast by Michael Wojtech, and Vulture, The Private Life of an Unloved Bird by Katie Fallon.

The stock of previously printed but unsold UPNE inventory has been managed by the University of Chicago Press’ Chicago Distribution Center, which will continue to handle both sales, marketing and distribution for both UPNE and Brandeis University Press. Meanwhile, any plans to revive Dartmouth College Press, which hasn’t published a book since 2018, appear slim.

Daniel Chamberlain, the associate librarian for digital strategies at Dartmouth, said DCP currently hasn’t any books in development and there has been no decision on whether or not to begin publishing again.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.




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