Melbourne University Press was founded in 1922 to sell books and stationery to students of the University. It soon developed its own publishing program and later established its own printing facilities, and its first publication was a duplicated set of notes from the Physics School, then known as Natural Philosophy. The Press's first monograph was Myra Willard's History of the White Australia Policy, published in 1923. In the first two decades of its existence, the Press also ran a post office, provided lecture notes and hired out graduation regalia!
From 1944 the activities became more streamlined, and Melbourne University Press focused on the core roles of publishing books and managing the bookshop.
In 1967 The Miegunyah Press was established as a special imprint of Melbourne University Press, through the vision of Sir Russell Grimwade and the major bequests provided by him and his wife, Mabel. Books published under the Miegunyah imprint are distinguished by their reputation for quality and are lavishly illustrated landmark books that document the national story.
Melbourne University Publishing inherited the proud history of Melbourne University Press, which in 2003 became Melbourne University Publishing Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Melbourne.
In addition to publishing a robust frontlist aligned to the University of Melbourne’s academic strengths, as well as academic works accessible to a diverse, non-academic audience, MUP maintains a substantial backlist of some 500 titles, which can be ordered through the website.
In 2022, MUP celebrated its centenary. A detailed account of its first century has been captured by author Stuart Kells in the book MUP: A Centenary History