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The University of Pennsylvania Press (or Penn Press) was originally incorporated with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on 26 March 1890, and the imprint of the University of Pennsylvania Press first appeared on publications in the closing decade of the nineteenth century--among the earliest such imprints in America. One of the Press's first book publications, in 1899, was a landmark: The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, by renowned black reformer, scholar, and social critic W.E.B. Du Bois, a book that remains in print on the Press's lists.

Today the Press has an active backlist of roughly 1000 titles and an annual output of upwards of 100 new books in a focused editorial program. Areas of special interest include American history and culture; ancient, medieval, and Renaissance studies; anthropology; landscape architecture; studio arts; human rights; Jewish studies; and political science. The Press also publishes eight academic journals, mostly in the humanities.

The University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc. is a nonprofit Pennsylvania corporation wholly owned by the University of Pennsylvania, maintaining its own nonprofit tax status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

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