Essig To Retire As Director Of University Press
16, 2000 -- Nancy
C. Essig, director of the University Press of Virginia since 1988,
has announced she will retire at the end of April.
longtime leader in scholarly publishing, Essig has helped guide
the Virginia Press into growing prominence during a time of rapid
change in the publishing industry.
her tenure, the states only university press has roughly doubled
the number of books it publishes annually and been acclaimed for
the breadth and strength of its offerings. Several of its scholarly
book series are known worldwide as the best in their field and many
of its 50 to 60 new titles a year are widely reviewed.
been a difficult decision to make," she said. "I love
publishing books, but I have been doing it all my adult life and
I want to try some other things too. Virginia has been a special
place to publish books, with a caring staff, a collegial faculty
and a supportive administration."
retirement plans include learning more about Southern history and
writing a book about the family of Virginia writer Ellen Glasgow.
the publishing areas that the Virginia press has become known for
in recent years are African American history and literature, a strength
that Essig takes special satisfaction in. Other outstanding areas
include Caribbean and African literature translated from the French,
Victorian literature and culture, and new series on the American
South and on Jeffersons America. U.Va. faculty serve as editors
of all these series.
in 1963 and charged with advancing scholarly publishing throughout
Virginia, the press also has a long record of publishing books that
explore the historical, cultural and natural resources of the state
and the region. Essig is its third director.
a time when sales of scholarly monographs have fallen nationally
because of library budget cuts, she has sought to fulfill the presss
main scholarship mission and also to acquire books by scholars writing
for a wider audience and has produced many strong sellers. The press
is also publishing books in partnerships with other groups such
as Colonial Williamsburg, The Mariners Museum, and historical societies
to help defray costs of publication and reach new markets.
who was previously assistant director at the Johns Hopkins University
Press, publicity director at Columbia University Press and in trade
publishing, has served on the board of directors of the Association
of American University Presses and was founding editor of its newsletter,
"The Exchange." She has also been president of Women in
Scholarly Publishing and of the Washington/Baltimore chapter of
the Womens National Book Association. She has taught publishing
courses at Howard University, George Washington University, and
in the Summer Publishing Institute of the University of Denver.
committee to conduct a national search for her successor is expected
to be appointed shortly.
Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856