About the Press

The University of Adelaide Press operated between 2009 and 2018 and published many well-received works by Australian and international authors.

Celebrating the principles of open access, the Press published scholarly and academic volumes, as well as general works about the University of Adelaide. To this day the works of the Press continue to enjoy a wide, international audience.

About the University of Adelaide Press

Launched in 2009 by author and Nobel Prize winner J M Coetzee, the final work published by the press was launched in February 2019. Over its 10 year history the University of Adelaide Press published a substantial range of high-quality works, authored and edited by notable Australian and international academics. The press published works under two separate imprints: The University of Adelaide Press, which published intellectual and scholarly works that were subject to a selection process and external refereeing, and The Barr Smith Press, which published works of interest about the University.

The Press celebrated open access principles, with most works offering a free online edition. 

While the Press is no longer active, books and other works published by the Press will remain available for download and purchase. 

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  • Brief history of the Press

    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. While traditional university publishing was in decline, modern digital technology allowed for an entirely new publishing model and the University of Adelaide Press was established with two 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. 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. 
    • The Barr Smith Press became an imprint of the University of Adelaide Press, publishing works of interest about the the University (that 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. 

    The Press officially closed in December 2018, with the final work published in February 2019. More information about the Press is held within University Archives.