January 7, 2016

Amherst Press Logo

In a move that gives libraries direct responsibility for helping to solve some of publishing’s problems, and that puts liberal arts colleges at the table of scholarly publishing, the Amherst College Press will partner with Michigan Publishing and a consortium of 80 college libraries to launch a new academic press.

The Oberlin Group, a consortium of 80 libraries in America's top liberal arts colleges, has selected the Amherst College Press and Michigan Publishing as its partners for the impending launch of Lever Press. Inspired by Archimedes’ hope to move the earth with a lever long enough and a solid place to stand, Lever Press is a collaborative, open-access scholarly publishing enterprise driven by the values, ambitions, and imagination of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

It’s unusual for a scholarly press to arise from liberal arts colleges; of the 140 members of the Association of American University Presses, 138 are situated at major research universities.

As of December 4, 2015, nearly 40 liberal arts college libraries—most of them members of the Oberlin Group except for Allegheny College and Ursinus College—have committed to contribute more than $1.2 million to the work of Lever Press over the next five years. Supported by these pledges, Lever Press aims to acquire, develop, produce and disseminate 60 new open-access titles by the end of 2020. 

Lever Press is distinguished by three key commitments: editorial alignment with the mission and ethos of liberal arts colleges; a “platinum” approach to open access in which the pledging institutions rather than authors pay all publishing costs; and digitally-native production processes designed to support innovative projects that go “beyond the book.” 

The institutions that have so far pledged to support the first five years of Lever Press are: 

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Allegheny College
  • Amherst College
  • Atlanta University Center—Morehouse & Spelman Colleges
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Berea College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Carleton College
  • Claremont Colleges
  • Coe College
  • College of St. Benedict/
  • St. John University
  • Denison University
  • Earlham College
  • Furman University
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Kenyon College
  • Knox College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Macalester College
  • Middlebury College
  • Oberlin College
  • Rollins College
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Olaf College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Trinity University
  • Union College
  • The University of the South
  • Ursinus College
  • Vassar College
  • Washington & Lee University
  • Whitman College
  • Williams College
  • The College of Wooster



For further information about Lever Press visit www.leverpress.org or contact Mark Edington at medington@amherst.edu or 413-542-5709.