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By the numbers

Princeton University Press

Princeton NJ -- This year Princeton University Press celebrates its 100th anniversary (see related article in this issue).

• The press was established in 1905 when Whitney Darrow, business manager of the Princeton Alumni Weekly, visited New York publisher Charles Scribner to discuss the creation of a university press in Princeton.

• Initially housed at 2 Nassau St., the press moved to 41 William St., where its new headquarters were built and where it remains today. The building was funded by an initial donation of $75,000 from Scribner, although the final bill ended up being “rather more” than his original contribution.

• A compilation of five lectures given by Albert Einstein at Princeton (as the Stafford Little Lectures) was published by the press in 1922 under the title “The Meaning of Relativity.” The book outlined Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

• “The Invasion From Mars” by Hadley Cantril, which described the national hysteria created by Orson Welles’ fictional 1938 radio broadcast about an alien landing near Princeton, came out in 1940.

• In 1945, three weeks after it received the manuscript, the press issued “Atomic Energy for Military Purposes: The Official Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb Under the Auspices of the United States Government, 1940-1945” by Henry De Wolf Smyth. The first printing of 60,000 copies sold out in one day.

• The press published George Kennan’s “Soviet-American Relations, 1917-20, Volume I: Russia Leaves the War,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956.

• The first volume of “The Papers of Woodrow Wilson,” the 13th president of Princeton, came out in 1966. It was edited by Arthur Link. Sixty-eight more volumes were issued over the next 28 years.

• In “QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter” (1985), Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman explained quantum electrodynamics for the lay reader.

• In 1999, former Princeton President William Bowen and former Harvard President Derek Bok wrote “The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions,” which examined the effects of race-sensitive admissions policies.

• Earlier this year the press published a slim volume with an arresting title. “On Bull—” by professor of philosophy emeritus Harry Frankfurt has spent eight weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and is one of the press’ biggest sellers in 20 years.

Source: Princeton University Press