Sydney University Press (SUP) is a not-for-profit, scholarly publisher of research-based books that engage, inspire and stimulate debate.
At SUP, we believe in the value of research, the power of knowledge and the power of books to change the world. Our mission is to enable, support and facilitate the dissemination of outstanding research, and to find new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge, and increasing engagement with individual works.
SUP is overseen by the SUP Advisory Board, chaired by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. SUP's publishing program is overseen by the SUP Editorial Advisory Board.
All SUP book proposals and manuscripts undergo a rigorous peer review process prior to being accepted for publication. All SUP commissioning must be approved by the Editorial Advisory Board, which is composed of academics based at the University of Sydney.
The original SUP was established by the University in 1962. University by-law at the time enshrined its objectives:
The objects of Sydney University Press shall be to undertake the publication of works of learning and to carry out the business of publication in all its branches.
The press was effectively dismantled in 1987 to become, for a time, an imprint of Oxford University Press till the mid-1990s when Oxford University Press relinquished the imprint and business name.
Between 1965 and 1987 SUP published several hundred books and many journals representing scholarship at the University and beyond. These publications included major works by many of the University's leading scholars such as JM Ward, Butlin, Turney, Wilkes, K Campbell, J Young, Wolnizer, Jeans, Meaney, and Webby. It included series such as Challis Shakespeare, Australian Literary Reprints, and journals such as Journal of Industrial Relations, Mankind, Australian Economic History Review, Abacus, and Pathology. The output of Sydney University Press represented the breadth and the best of the University of Sydney.
In 2003 SUP was re-established to publish and distribute reprints of Australian classic literature and out-of-copyright books from the University of Sydney Library’s digital text collections. In 2005 the scope was expanded to publish new scholarly research works and reprints of interest to the scholarly community in Australia, and it developed over the years into a fairly broad publishing program in humanities and social sciences.
Since 2005, SUP has published over 300 new research titles in the fields of animal studies, archaeology, Australian literature, copyright, education, history, public health, public and social policy, urban planning, social work, healthy ageing and Indigenous issues.
Following a review in 2012, the press refocused its publishing program and established several series which build on the strength of its backlist but also complement the research priorities of the University of Sydney. Each of the series has its own editorial board with experts from Australia and overseas, who help shape the publishing program. While some of the series, such as Sydney Studies in Australian Literature and Indigenous Music of Australia, are focused on Australian topics, others are broader in their subject area like the Tom Austen Brown Series in Australasian Archaeology. Other series: Animal Publics, Public and Social Policy, China and the West in the Modern World, and Sydney Series in Celtic Studies, are international in scope. Outside of the series, SUP continues to publish reprints of Australian classic literature and scholarly monographs in the area of public health, aged care, urban planning, which have some of the most successful titles in its backlist.
In July 2018 the SUP team won a Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to the University Community.
SUP's republishing program draws on the digital library collection of the University of Sydney Library. Over 300 texts are fully searchable and readable via the web.
SUP has partnered with the Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) to bring out-of-print Australian novels back into circulation in the Classic Australian Works series. Future directions for this partnership include the introduction of large print and other accessible editions of the Classic Australian Works, and the addition of more titles to the series.
- Classic Australian Works – the original set of novels, including works by Martin Boyd, Dal Stivens, Georgia Savage and Peter Mathers
- Australian Classics Library – 12 titles with new scholarly introductions written by Australian literature experts
- SUP Classics – early Australian stories, including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, CJ Dennis, Catherine Martin, Ada Cambridge, Rose Praed and many more.
Darlington Press is an imprint of SUP for research-based works with a more general or popular focus.
SUP is a member of the Australian Publishers Association, the Small Press Network and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (UK).