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Cornell University Press was established in 1869, which means that it was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States. Ever since its beginnings the Press made a name for itself for offering titles in a multitude of subject areas.
Today the press produces around 150 nonfiction titles each year in the following subject areas: anthropology, history, art history, cultural studies, literary criticism and theory, politics and international relations, philosophy and sociology, but also such fields as urban studies, Asian studies, Slavic and Eurasian studies and a series on New York City and State.
In 2010 Cornell University Press was awarded a considerable private subsidy, which enabled it to publish works in low-demand humanities fields, thus even broadening its offer.
Since the early '90s CUP's main headquarters has been the Sage House – a neo-Gothic-like building with a history almost as long as the Press itself and a former mansion of Henry W. Sage, a 19th century businessman and benefactor of the Cornell University.