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The University of North Carolina Press (or UNC Press), founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina.

The University of North Carolina Press (or UNC Press) is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina. The Press is a member of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) and the Green Press Initiative.

In 1922, on the campus of the nation's oldest state university, thirteen faculty members and trustees met to charter a publishing house. Their creation, the University of North Carolina Press, was the first university press in the South and one of the first in the nation. From the start, UNC Press took a different, pioneering approach by creating one of the earliest and strongest regional publishing programs in the country. UNC Press was the first scholarly publisher to develop an ongoing program of books by and about African Americans, beginning in the late 1920s. By 1950, nearly 100 such volumes had appeared under its imprint. In the 1970s, UNC Press took an early lead in publishing feminist literary and historical works of distinction.

Notable UNC Press authors include historians such as John Hope Franklin, Edmund Morgan, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, and Nell Irvin Painter; writers and critics such as Elizabeth Lawrence, Cleanth Brooks, and Paul Green; journalists such as Josephus Daniels and Lillian Smith; and local celebrities such as Mildred (Mama Dip) Council, Bland Simpson, David Stick, and Bill Neal. Scholars and archivists have lauded multi-volume documentary editions from UNC Press, such as The Papers of John Marshall, The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, The Black Abolitionist Papers, and The Complete Works of Captain John Smith. Acclaimed reference works such as the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture broke new ground and led to the publication of other city, state, and regional encyclopedias; and books like North Carolina Architecture and the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography have set a standard for regional reference works that other publishers now follow.

The Press today is a leader in exploring electronic publishing to make its titles available to libraries in non-print as well as traditional (ink-on-paper) formats. But no matter how timely the subject or how up-to-date the method of distribution, the highest standards in traditional book publishing—from selection to presentation—are always honored at UNC Press. And as a result, UNC Press is a benchmark against which many other university presses are measured.

In 2009 the UNC Press announced plans to bring back into print all of its out of print titles as print-on-demand titles through a series called “Enduring Editions.” These editions are published unaltered from the original and are presented in paperback formats, bringing both historical and cultural value to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

Over the Press’s eighty-year history the UNC Press has published more than 4,000 books. UNC Press books have won virtually every award imaginable, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize.

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