Liverpool University Press (LUP ) Archive

Scope and Content

The Records of the LUP  comprise a large collection of publication files containing ephemera pertaining to various printed books and pamphlets produced or considered by the Press, together with publicity material in the form of a collection of photographs and material relating to the workings of the LUP  Committee, Finance Committee, Press Secretary and the Working Party on the Future of the University Press.

Administrative / Biographical History

Although the first motion toward the eventual creation of the LUP took place as early as 1899 when a resolution of the University Senate resulted in the formation of a Printing and Stationery Committee, run by Principal Glazebrook, Professors Woodward, Gonner and Carey and Doctors Londini and Sampson, it was not until 1901 that the University Press of Liverpool was registered as a company, limited by guarantee.

During this early period, the Press was confronted with a variety of difficulties, stemming from a degree of uncertainty as to how the new company should operate and exacerbated by an alarming deficiency of funds. Thus, it is hardly surprising that by 1922, the University of Liverpool Press had been compelled to dissolve, only to be replaced by a new company : The University Press of Liverpool Limited.

It soon became obvious, however, that the new Press was failing to operate effectively and as a result, the University Press Committee initiated an investigation into the company's dealings, a course of action which quickly exposed several shortcomings, many of which appeared to be provoked by a lack of professional skill and business acumen amongst employees, who were, incidentally, also prone to embezzling Press funds. Consequently, a memorandum of Future Working Policy, which set forth various solutions to counteract the company's failings, was submitted for approval by Senate, who ultimately agreed to the appointment of both a full time secretary with experience of both publishing and printing and Mr.F.E.Hyde as Chairman of the Committee.

Gradually, business began to improve. By 1954, the Finance Office had taken charge of Press accounts, a development which led to the design and implementation of both an invoice and filing system, whilst towards the end of 1955, standard publishing procedures, careful sub-editing and preparation of layouts were made routine, along with the employment of professional staff working within a general framework of policy directed by a Committee of Senate. It appeared that after a problematic start, the Press was finally functioning in a professional and effectual manner.

Yet, when considerable deficits on the University Press operation became apparent during the 1970s, there was little doubt that the Press had failed to live up to expectations and faced with no real alternative, the Sub-Committee on Academic Needs recommended that upon the retirement of the Secretary, Mr. J. G. O'Kane, the University Press should fold. Opposition to this suggestion was severe and the establishment of a Working Party on the Future of the University Press ensued, during the session 1980-81.

After a great deal of thought and deliberation, The Final Report of the Working Party recommended that the Press should continue to operate, all be it with modified aims and objectives. From this moment on, it was agreed that the Press should focus its attention upon the requirements of members of staff and University departments, as a publishing outlet for relevant journals and other such publications. Furthermore, it was decided that the Press should come under the Registrar's control from August 1981 and that upon the conclusion of all existing publishing commitments, the University Press Committee would be replaced by a Press Advisory Committee, the sole function of which would be to supervise the publication of academic work.

Today, the University Press continues to function as a Department of the University and thus, all publishing activities are variously funded from the University's resources. Nevertheless, the Press is internationally recognized as a publishing house and is a member of the British Publishers' Association. For further information, please visit : LUP  Online.


The records have been arranged into six sections in an attempt to reflect the professional operation and structure of the company:

  • A271/1 LUP  Publications
  • A271/2  Publicity
  • A271/3  Records of the Liverpool University Press Committee
  • A271/4  Records of the Finance Committee
  • A271/5  Press Secretary's Papers
  • A271/6  Records of the Working Party on the Future of the University Press

All of the above material has been arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Access is open to bona fide researchers.

Acquisition Information

The LUP  Archive was transferred from the University of Liverpool Records Management Service to Special Collections and Archives in approximately 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of the hand-list is available for consultation in the Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and licensing rules available on request.

Appraisal Information

During processing, duplicate items were removed from the collection.

Custodial History

Previously, these records were in the custody of the University of Liverpool Records Management Service


It is anticipated that further records may be subsequently added to this collection.

Related Material

The following records are held at the University of Liverpool:

  • P5A/4/1 Archive of the University of Liverpool: Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool University Press: establishment, agreements, minutes, etc.
  • P714/5-6 Archive of the University of Liverpool: Vice-Chancellor, Correspondence of the Vice-Chancellor with Professor F.E. Hyde, the Secretary of the University Press.
  • S505, S4205, P7723/2 Archive of the University of Liverpool: Records of the Senate, Liverpool University Press, later University Press Committee; and Press Executive Committee


Droop, J.P.The University Press of Liverpool : A Record of Progress, 1899-1946, with a Catalogue of All Publications.Liverpool University Press, 1947