The University of Adelaide has been publishing books under various imprints since the 1920s.
The Barr Smith Library published the correspondence of Joanna Elder and Robert Barr Smith under the imprint 'Barr Smith Press' in 1996.
The imprint was renamed the 'University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press' in 2005 to publish three books from the University of Adelaide's Alumni John Bray Law Chapter.
These were Ralph Hague's History of the Law in South Australia, and John Emerson's First Among Equals and A History of the Independent Bar in South Australia.
In 2007 the same imprint published graduate and winemaker Ian Hickinbotham's memoirs, Australian Plonky.
These publications led to an investigation into the feasibility of formally establishing a university press.
As both research and publishing had become increasingly digitalised, the University recognised the need to explore new methods of publishing academic writing.
Traditional university publishing was in decline, but modern digital technology allowed for an entirely new publishing model.
It was decided to establish a university press on a model closely following ANU's 'e-Press', and split the exisiting 'University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press' into two separate imprints.
'The University of Adelaide Press' would publish the University's intellectual and scholarly output as book-length works in two editions - a free PDF edition, and a high quality paperback edition.
Authors would exclusively be The University of Adelaide staff.
Titles would be subjected to a selection process and external refereeing to ensure the Press would compete with the best of the traditional university presses.
These publications are eligible for inclusion in the University's Higher Education Research Data Collection which leverages block grant funding from the Commonwealth.
'The Barr Smith Press' would now act as an imprint of the University of Adelaide Press, to publish works of interest about the activities of the University which may or may not be refereed.
These would include histories of various activities of the University, its clubs and institutions, memoirs of graduates, and any other work that would contribute to the University's own history and impact through the work of its alumni. Read more information regarding the Barr Smith Press.