Pitts Theology Library
Archives and Manuscripts Department

Scholars Press
Records, 1974-1999

Descriptive Summary
Creator:Scholars Press.
Title:Scholars Press records, 1974-1999.
Call Number:Records Collection No. 060
Extent:6 cubic feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:Contains records, minutes, and catalogs of academic publisher, Scholars Press.
Language:Materials entirely in English.
Administrative Information
Restrictions on AccessUnrestricted access.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
Citation[after identification of item(s)], Scholars Press records, RG 060, Archives and Manuscript Department, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
ProcessingProcessed by Robert Presutti, February 2014.

Organizational History

Scholars Press was founded in 1974 by a consortium of academic societies to stimulate learning and encourage research and publication in the humanities, especially in the fields of biblical studies, religious studies, and classics. The Press sought to publish scholarly monographs economically by pooling resources, utilizing volunteer editors drawn from member societies, and lowering typesetting costs by using camera-ready copy and computerized printing. At its height in the 1990s, it published over 100 books a year (an estimated 15-20% of all scholarly books in religious studies), and maintained a subscriber list of over 30,000 members. Consortium members included the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), American Society of Papyrologists (ASP), American Philological Association (APA), State University of New York, Binghamton, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Eastern Buddhist Society, University of Illinois, Harvard Semitic Museum, Brown University, Boston College, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Jewish Law Association, Journal of Religious Ethics, Anglican Theological Review, Case Western University, Emory University, the University of Illinois, the University of South Florida, the University of Montana, the California State University, Chico, and the University of Manitoba. The Press was funded by dues, fees, and grants from member societies ,and grants from foundations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Exxon Education Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the J. Howard Pew Freedom Trust, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

The Press began publishing in 1970, under the leadership of Robert W. Funk (1926-2005), a professor at the University of Montana and a member of the Society of Biblical Literature. Formally organized in 1974 under the aegis of the Center for Scholarly Publishing and Services (CSPS), the Press was sponsored by the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, in an effort to gain economies in journal publication and to expand the scope of the two societies. The Press took on a full-time staff and became an affiliate of the University of Montana, which contributed two members to its board. Other societies, such as the American Schools for Oriental Research, the American Philological Association, and the American Society of Papyrologists, soon joined and contributed members to the board as well. The Press grew under Funk’s leadership, publishing journals, dissertations, and monographs, and offering membership and subscription services for member societies. It moved to Chico, California in 1980, when it gained the sponsorship of California State University. Funk, however, resigned as director at the end of 1980.

C. Conrad Cherry (b. 1937) became director of the Press in 1981. The Press continued to grow, and the board decided to seek a new home connected with a major university. In 1985, the Press moved its headquarters to the campus of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Harry W. Gilmer was appointed director of the Press in 1987. Under Gilmer’s direction, the Press gained the sponsorship of the Luce Foundation in the construction of a new, larger building on the Emory Campus. The Luce Center was opened in 1998, and provided offices not only for the Press, but for several affiliate societies, including the AAR and SBL.

With the retirement of Harry Gilmer in 1999, the Board retained the consulting services of the Center for Applied Research, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, to determine the future of the Press. At its August 28-29, 1999 meeting, the Board reviewed the consultants’ findings and determined that the changing economics of publication and the diverse directions of its constituent societies required a restructuring of the Press; this effectively meant its dissolution.

Scope and Content Note

The Scholars Press records are housed in six records boxes and arranged alphabetically and chronologically by folder. Series have been designated for Directors’ Files, Board of Trustees records, Executive Committee Records, and Catalogs. The collection contains minutes, financial statements, reports, policies, by-laws, supporting documents, correspondence, and biographical materials relating to the operation of Scholars Press, as well as publication catalogs. It includes bound minutes of board meetings from 1983 to 1998, and loose-leaf minutes from 1975-1999, along with significant notes, financial records, and correspondence with board members, editors, representatives of participating organizations, and service providers.

The Directors’ Files Series includes reports, correspondence, and policies of the directors of the Press, primarily Robert Funk, Conrad Cherry, and Harry Gilmer (including one folder of reactions to early publicity about the Jesus Seminar, which Funk chaired); also included are the 1997 architectural bid documents of the Scholars Press building at Emory University (later named the Luce Center). This series is arranged chronologically.

The Board of Trustees Series include minutes, financial papers, and supporting papers for the periodic meetings of the board; these records sometimes include extensive annotation and multiple drafts of documents. Correspondence in this series includes material from noted scholars such as Roger Bagnall, Martin Marty, Jacob Neusner, H. Kent Richards, and James Robinson. Also included in this series is biographical information about board members and Press employees, especially James T. Laney, Alexander Madison, John Schonleber, Charles Weltner, and James Wiggins. Board meeting records and bound minutes are arranged chronologically; other material is arranged alphabetically.

The Executive Committee Series comprise material from the governing subcommittee of the board, much of which overlaps the Board of Trustees records. This material provides background, context, and further information about the running of the board and the Press. This series is arranged chronologically.

The Catalog Series includes publication catalogs of Scholars Press books from 1973-1983. Some of these were included as part of AAR/SBL and APA Annual Meeting guides. This series is arranged chronologically.

Container Listing

Series I: Directors’ Files (1978- 1999)
11AAR Executive Committee1981
12Associates Program, Edward Everding1981
13Building Correspondence with Emory Officials1990-1996
14Correspondence, Name Similarity1994
15Directors’ Reports to AAR1986-1989
16Directors’ Reports to APA Publications Committee1986-1989
17Directors’ Reports to SBL1984-1989
18Directors’ Reports to Board of Trustees1982-1992
19Editorial Policy Statements1986-1987
110Employment Agreement, Harry Gilmer1987
111Financial Relations with Sponsors1980, 1984, 1990
112Funk, The Economics of Scholars Pressundated
113Jesus Seminar: Public Response1978-1980
114Looking Toward 20001994
115Luce Center Dedication Brochure1998
116Scholars Press Restructuring clipping1999
117Policies and Procedures (1)1990-1993
118Policies and Procedures (2)1990-1993
119Position Statements1986-1987
120Report to Journal of Pastoral Care Board1992
121Report: Scholars Press Overview1989
122Report: Views of the Future1989
123Reports and Proposals1980s
124Three-Year Planning Document1985
125Architectural bid documents, Scholars Press building1997
Series II: Board of Trustees (1974-1999)
21CSPS Organizational Board MeetingOctober 30, 1975
22CSPC Board Minutes1975-1976
23Board of Trustees MeetingOctober 26, 1976
24Board of Trustees MeetingOctober 1977
25Board of Trustees MeetingDecember 30, 1997
26Board of Trustees MeetingApril 15-16, 1978
27Board of Governors MeetingNovember 19-20, 1978
28Board of Trustees MeetingMay 5-6, 1979
29Board of Trustees MeetingNovember 17, 1979
210Board of TrusteesNovember 1979
211Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 20-21, 1980
212Board of Trustees1980-1982
213Board of Trustees MeetingFebruary 6, 1981
214Board of Trustees MeetingMarch 28-29, 1981
215Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 19-20, 1981
216Board of Trustees MeetingMarch 27-28, 1982
217Board of Trustees MeetingOctober 30-31, 1982
218Board of TrusteesFebruary 1983
219Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 24-25, 1983
220Board of Trustees1984
221Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 1984
222Board of Trustees MeetingNovember 11, 1984
223Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 21-23, 1985
224Board of Trustees MeetingApril 4-6, 1986
225Board of Trustees MeetingSeptember 27, 1986
226Board of Trustees MeetingApril 25-26, 1987
227Board of Trustees MeetingAugust 21-23, 1987
228Board of Trustees MeetingFebruary 13-14, 1988
229Board of Trustees MeetingOctober 3-4, 1992
230Board of Trustees MeetingMarch 27, 1999
31Auditor’s Financial Statements1975-1985
32Auditor’s Financial Statements1986-1992
33Board of Trustees General Correspondence1986-1994
34Board of Trustees Handbook[1995]
35Board of Trustees Members1982-1983
36Board of Trustees Members, James T. Laney1993-1994
37Board of Trustees Members, Charles Weltner1992
38Board of Trustees Members. James Wigginsundated
39Board of Trustees Policies1990s
310Board of Trustees Strategic Planning1995
311Business/Marketing Plan1996
313By-Law Amendments1993
314By-Law Revisions1986-1988
315CSPS Annual Report1975-1976
316CSPS and Scholars Press1975
322Executive Director Files, Board of Trustees1984-1986
323Executive Director Files, Board of Trustees1987
324Information for New Board Members1990s
325Madison, Alexander, Director of Printing Services1993
326Powers of Board of Trustees1975
327Strategic Initiatives1996-1997
3 Financial Statements (plastic comb binding)June 30, 1977
3 Combined Financial Statements (plastic comb binding)June 30, 1978
3 Combined Financial Statements (plastic comb binding)June 30, 1979
3 Combined Financial Statements (plastic comb binding)December 31, 1979
3 In Honor of John Schonleber (bound volume)1992
3 NEH Challenge Grant Application (plastic comb binding)January 1980
3 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1988
3 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1989
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1990
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1991
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1992
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1993
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1994
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1995
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1996
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1997
4 Minutes of Scholars Press Board of Trustees (clothbound)1998
Series III: Executive Committee (1979-1999)
51Executive Committee MeetingOctober 26-27, 1979
52Executive Committee MeetingNovember 13 & 17, 1979
53Executive Committee MeetingFebruary 1-3, 1980
54Executive Committee MeetingJune 20-21, 1980
55Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 19, 1980
56Executive Committee MeetingNovember 9, 1980
57Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 1981
58Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 18-20, 1981
59Executive Committee MeetingNovember 13, 1981
510Executive Committee MeetingMarch 26, 1982
511Executive Committee MeetingJuly 30, 1982
512Executive Committee MeetingOctober 30, 1982
513Executive Committee1982
514Executive Committee MeetingApril 14, 1983
515Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 24-25, 1983
516Executive Committee MeetingApril 12, 1984
517Executive Director Files, Executive Committee1984-1986
518Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 20-21, 1985
519Executive Committee MeetingApril 4, 1986
520Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 25, 1986
521Executive Committee MeetingMarch 19, 1987
522Executive Committee MeetingNovember 5, 1987
523Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 14, 1988
524Executive Committee MeetingFebruary 12, 1988
525Executive Committee MeetingMay 24, 1988
526Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 23, 1988
527Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 13, 1989
528Executive Committee MeetingJuly 13, 1989
529Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 19, 1990
530Executive Committee MeetingMarch 30, 1990
531Executive Committee MeetingJuly 10, 1990
532Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 28, 1990
533Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 18, 1991
534Executive Committee MeetingApril 5, 1991
535Executive Committee MeetingAugust 29, 1991
536Executive Committee MeetingOctober 4, 1991
537Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 17, 1992
538Executive Committee MeetingMarch 27, 1992
539Executive Committee MeetingMay 19, 1992
540Executive Committee MeetingAugust 28, 1992
541Executive Committee MeetingOctober 2, 1992
542Executive Committee MeetingMarch 26, 1993
543Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 15, 1993
544Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 22, 1993
545Executive Committee MeetingAugust 17-18, 1993
546Executive Committee MeetingJuly 26, 1994
61Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 30, 1995
62Executive Committee MeetingMarch 24, 1995
63Executive Committee MeetingSeptember 13, 1995
64Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 23, March 21, 1996
65Executive Committee MeetingJune 18, 1996
66Executive Committee MeetingJune 18, September 16, 1996
67Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 29, 1997
68Executive Committee MeetingMarch 1997
69Executive Committee MeetingFebruary 4, 1998
610Executive Committee MeetingMarch 27, 1998
611Executive Committee MeetingJune 30, 1998
612Executive Committee MeetingOctober 6, 1998
613Executive Committee MeetingJanuary 22, 1999
614Executive Committee MeetingMarch 26, 1999
Series IV Catalogs (1973-1983)
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting booklet1973
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting booklet1975
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting booklet1976
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting booklet1977
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting booklet1978
6 Scholars Press Book Service (newsprint)undated (1970s)
6 Scholars Press Book Service 2 (newsprint)undated (1970s)
6 Scholars Press Book Service 3 (newsprint)undated (1970s)
6 Scholars Press Book Service 4 (newsprint)undated (1970s)
6 Scholars Press Scholia (booklet)1977
6 Scholars Press Scholia II (booklet)1977
6 Scholars Press Scholia III (booklet)Spring 1978
6 Scholars Press Scholia IV (booklet)Summer 1978
6 Scholars Press Scholia V (booklet)Autumn 1978
6 Scholars Press Scholia VI (booklet)Winter 1979
6 Scholars Press Scholia VII (booklet)Spring 1979
6 Scholars Press Scholia VIII, AAR/SBL Annual Meeting1979
6 Scholars Press Scholia IX (booklet)Autumn 1979
6 Scholars Press Scholia X(booklet)Winter 1980
6 Scholars Press Scholia XI (booklet)Spring 1980
6 Annual Meeting 1980, AAR/SBL, Scholars Press Scholia XII1980
6 APA Annual Meeting, Scholia XIII (booklet)1980
6 Scholars Press Fall 1981 Book Sale1981
6 Scholia XIV[1980]
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting, Scholars Press1981
6 Scholars Press Spring 1982 Titles & Complete Catalogue1982
6 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting 1982, Scholars Press1982
6 Scholars PressSummer 1982
6 Scholars Press, New Titles and Complete CatalogueWinter/Spring 1982
Series V Publications
7-71 Scholars Press Publications 

Last Modified: 09/1/2015 (bcw)