Kennys Bookshop and Art Galleries Ltd. in Galway, Ireland, specializes in new and antiquarian Irish-interest books and contemporary Irish art. Des Kenny, who runs the family business, is a detective of sorts, tracking down books—both rare and readily available—for collectors in 45 countries. Quite often, his clients seek titles that carry the imprint of Syracuse University Press, which publishes more books about Ireland than any other press in the United States. “I like to keep Syracuse University Press books in stock,” Kenny says. “They’re high-quality academic books that can reach not just an academic market, but also the popular market.”
      One such book is A Reader’s Guide to Modern Irish Drama, a recent work by Sanford Sternlicht G’62, a part-time SU English professor and editor of the SU Press Irish Studies Series. “Irish drama always has been popular in Ireland,” Kenny says. “But in terms of literary criticism, there are gaps in quite a lot of areas. Thankfully, Syracuse University Press takes up the slack by publishing books about Irish drama. And these books are very much sought after.”
      In many places around the world, the only contact people have with Syracuse University is through SU Press publications. The academic press has built an international reputation by publishing several specialized series, including Adirondack Museum Books, the Jewish Studies Series, the Irish Studies Series, the Mohamad El-Hindi Series on Arab Culture and Islamic Civilization, Native American Studies, and New York State Studies. One of the press’s most recent major undertakings is the Encyclopedia of New York State, which is scheduled for release in fall 2002.
      Syracuse University Press also markets and distributes books for the American University of Beirut, Colgate University Press, The National Library of Ireland, St. Lawrence University, the Shiloah Institute of Tel-Aviv University, and Union College Press.
      “Authors from all over the world submit manuscripts to SU Press,” says Robert Mandel, director of the press since 1993 and editor of the Jewish Studies Series. “We have several criteria for choosing the books we publish, but our first and major goal is that a book should promise high renown or lasting importance. It has to augment or give a new perspective to a field of study.”
      The press publishes about 60 titles a year, what Sternlicht calls a “prodigious” number of books for a staff of about 26. “Robert Mandel is recognized as one of the premier directors of a university press in the country,” says Sternlicht, who also is a member of the SU Press editorial board. “He has done some remarkable things with such a small operation. SU Press is an extremely hardworking unit of the University.”
      SU Press was founded under Chancellor William Pearson Tolley, an avid bibliophile who believed that having a press would enhance SU’s academic prestige, says John Robert Greene, author of the fourth and fifth volumes in the SU Press series on the history of SU: Syracuse University: The Tolley Years 1942-1969, and Syracuse University: The Eggers Years 1971-1991. “Chancellor Tolley had a number of goals for the University after World War II,” Greene says. “The first was to regain the enrollment that had been lost, not just by the war, but also by the Depression. What placed Tolley in the category of just a handful of visionaries was his plan to turn the school—which at the time was basically a liberal arts institution—into a major corporate scientific research institution.”

Under the guidance of

director Robert Mandel,

pictured on the previous

page, Syracuse University

Press publishes about 60

titles a year covering a

range of fields. Mandel,

who became director in 1993,

wants SU Press books to offer

new perspectives to a field of

study or exhibit the potential

to make a lasting impact in the

book world.



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