Updated: June 10, 2021 11:58:21 am
After being in operation for centuries, Oxford University Press is discontinuing its printing arm. A report in The Guardian confirms this and states that Oxuniprint will close on August 27, and 20 jobs will be lost. The closure, the report states, was led to by “continued decline in sales” which was “exacerbated by factors relating to the pandemic”.
“Oxuniprint is the latest iteration of OUP’s print division which has been around for centuries. The idea of Oxford University Press as a press has always been fundamental to what we do. It’s not just about the content, although obviously, that is important, it’s also about the quality of our publications as cultural artefacts. It’s much more difficult to control that quality when the physical books and journals are produced by somebody else,” Dr Jude Roberts, chair of the Unite union branch at Oxford University Press was quoted as saying in the report.
“The press has said that they are going to attempt to find alternative roles for them. But the fact is that the work that these guys do is so specific, it’s so highly skilled in this particular area, and we don’t do any of that work now without them, so it’s hard to imagine where they could be placed elsewhere in the press. It’s absolutely awful,” Roberts said, adding about 20 people will lose their jobs.
“This decision follows a recent business review of our operations. This has not been an easy decision for us, and we thank the team for the support and dedication to OUP, and their clients, over the years,” an OUP spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Its website states that back in 1478, the first book was printed in Oxford, although its right to print books was first recognised in 1586 “in a decree from the Star Chamber”. This was further “enhanced” in the Great Charter “secured by Archbishop Laud from King Charles I, which entitled the University to print ‘all manner of books”.
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