The imprint "Howard University Press" first appeared in 1892 in a publication featuring the memorial address on Dr. George Burrell Cheever given by Henry Theodore Cheever. Over the years, the imprint appeared on newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, and books. The Howard printing office found a new home in 1911 when the Hall of Manual Arts and Applied Sciences was completed.12  This three-story facility, built of brick with reinforced concrete floors, measured one hundred feet by forty feet.13  The University printing press and engineering laboratories were located in the building’s basement.14

     The Howard University Press became an official unit of the University when the Howard Board of Trustees on February 7, 1919 passed the resolution stating "….That a university press be established and that a Department of Publications be created in the university, a Professor called to have charge."15   A news article appearing in the Pittsburgh Courier, dated February 13, 1926, reported that the Board of Trustees had approved the purchase of new machinery, type, and furniture for the printing office.16  The March 12, 1926 minutes of the Executive Committee of the Howard University Board of Trustees mentions the purchase of one ton of linotype metal and supplies for the printing office.17

     At the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Howard Board of Trustees on October 25, 1932, the Howard University Press was abolished. The Trustees approved the closing of the University printing office at the end of the fiscal year and the selling of its equipment and supplies.18   While the Press was inactive, University publications were produced by commercial printers. In 1959, the Howard University Press was reestablished. At their January 27, 1959 meeting, the Howard Trustees adopted bylaws for governing the Press.19  In fact, from 1959 to 1972 the press existed in name only. It was not until its reactivation in 1972 that the Howard University Press launched a true publishing program of diverse works. On June 2, 1972, the Howard Trustees once again adopted new bylaws for governing the Howard University Press. The University unit created to administer the Press was called "The Commission on Management and Operations of [the] Howard University Press."20  The launching of the new Howard University Press occurred on April 8, 1974. Howard President James E. Cheek announced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that the "initial program to launch the Press" would consist of the "publication of twelve books" relating to "fiction, history, literary criticism, literary anthologies, education, and social commentary."21


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February 2000