Tucked away in a small office in St. John’s College, it is easy to miss the University of Manitoba Press.
It is, in fact, one of the country’s leading publishers of books on aboriginal studies and Canadian history.
Founded in 1967, U of M Press’s publishing program has been ongoing since 1977. It has produced numerous books on variety of topics, such as aboriginal studies, architecture, ethnic studies and Icelandic studies. Books published by U of M Press have won numerous awards in recent years.
David Carr, director of the University of Manitoba Press, explained that the Press’s primary responsibility is to be a part of the communication and scholarly research.
“We publish books for both scholarly and general audiences coming out of the research, some of which is done at U of M and much of which is also done at other universities,” said Carr.
He noted that the U of M Press also works on the regional trade books: books that deal with Winnipeg or Manitoba history.
Some of the Press’s most recently published books include Seeing Red by Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson, released this past September, which looks at 120 years of newspaper coverage of aboriginal Canadians.
Another recently published book, Life Stages and Native Women by Kim Anderson, explores the health and well-being of aboriginal women.
Carr also mentioned For King and Kanata: Canadian Indians and the First World War by Timothy C. Winegard, an upcoming book that chronicles the experiences of aboriginal Canadians during WWI. The Press will publish the book next January.
When looking for material to publish, Carr said one of the main factors “is that the book has to fit in the areas we specialize in.”
“Publishers have to specialize in certain areas largely so that they can get to know those areas editorially.”
He added that those who are interested in publishing with the U of M Press should send the book proposal first, which allows the Press to get a general idea of the content and determine if it is the appropriate publisher for the work submitted.
“Our website contains a lot of information [on the publishing process]. We use our website, along with social media, to advertise the books we publish,” said Carr.
“Our big focus right now is not just to produce the books but to reach audiences as well.”