History of the USC Publishing House

The University of San Carlos Publishing House started as San Carlos Publications in 1963, which was founded by the German ethnologist Fr. Rudolf Rahmann, SVD. It marked its founding with the publication of the first issue in 1963 of The Junior Philippine Scientist(TJPS), under the editorship of Brigida Koppin. The following year, Series A: Humanities and Series B: Natural Sciences were inaugurated as a thematic set of monographs on research works carried out by various USC faculty members. The set was boosted in 1967 with Series C: Religion and Series D: Occasional Monographs. At the same time, TJPS was renamed The Philippine Scientist as the university’s flagship scholarly journal in the natural sciences and mathematics.

The Abra Mission in Northern Luzon, Philippines 1598-1955 by Josef Schmitz, SVD was released in 1971 as the first book released by San Carlos Publications outside of this monograph series. This was followed in 1975 with Resil Mojares’ Cebuano Literature: A Survey and Bio-Bibliography with Finding List.

The Humanities series, in the meantime, eventually gave way to the Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society (PQCS) in 1973 as the university’s flagship scholarly journal in the humanities and social sciences. Fr. Rahman edited the journal with the assistance of Fr. Josef Baumgartner, SVD, who was winding down his work as Chief Librarian. With Fr. Rahmann’s retirement and return to Germany in 1977, Fr. Baumgartner assumed as PQCS Editor while at the same time running San Carlos Publications as Business Manager.

With Fr. Baumgartner at the helm, a number of books were published the first of which was Small Net in a Big Sea: The Redemptorists in the Philippines 1905-1929 (published in 1977) by Michael Bally, CSs.R, followed by An Anthology of Ilianen Mabolo Folktales (published in 1981) by Hazel J. Wrigglesworth, and On the Road to Longevity: 1970 National, Regional and Provincial Mortality Estimates for the Philippines by Fr. Wilhelm Flieger, SVD, Macrina K. Abenoja and Alice C. Lim (also published in 1981).

San Carlos Publications also produced the first editions of Fr. Peter Schreur’s Angry Days in Mindanao (published in 1987) and Caraga Antigua: The Hispanization and Christianization of Agusan, Surigao and East Davao (published in 1989), as well as the first of his three-volume Mission To Mindanao (published in 1994).

All four works of the architect-priest Fr. Winand Klassen, SVD – History of Western Architecture (published in 1981), Architecture Gods and Mortals (published in 1984), Architecture in the Philippines (published in 1986), and Architecture and Philosophy (published in 1990) – were produced by San Carlos Publications.

A number of books in anthropology and archaeology were published, starting in 1973 with An Archaeological Picture of a Pre-Spanish Cebuano Community by Karl Hutterer.

In 1984, Cebu Under the Spanish Flag, 1521-1896 An Economic Social History by Bruce Leonard Fenner was the first book about the Spanish period in Cebu published by San Carlos Publications.

The first coffee table book produced by San Carlos Publications was a celebratory volume released in 2005 entitled University of San Carlos, A Commemorative History. Five years later, a second coffee table book entitled Celebrating Milestones was released to mark the 75th anniversary of the SVD administration of USC.

In 2009, San Carlos Publications was renamed as University of San Carlos Press (USC Press) recognizing it as a university-based publishing house. Dr. Jose Eleazar R. Bersales was appointed Business Manager of the USC Press.

In 2016, the Verbum Books imprint was established. All textbooks written by USC faculty and published by USC Press carry the Verbum Books imprint.

In 2018, Dr. Resil B. Mojares, former Business Manager of USC Press (1996-1999), has been conferred the Order of the National Artist in the Field of Literature by the Philippine Government in 2018. Dr. Mojares has also published numerous books with the USC Press.

The COVID-19 global pandemic and shifting landscape from print publishing to digital publishing posed challenges to the USC Press.

In 2021, Fr. Jesuraj Anthoniappen, SVD, Vice President for Academic Affairs, formed the USC Press Ad Hoc Committee and commissioned the committee to prepare two documents: USC Publishing House Business Plan 2022-26 and USC Publication Policy and Implementing Guidelines. The business plan sought to implement reforms to make the USC Publishing House viable in the post-pandemic period. The committee was composed of Dr. Julius P. Relampagos (Chair), Dr. Patrick John Lim, Dr. Danilo Largo, Dr. Richard Jugar, Dr. Hope Yu, and Atty. Joan Largo.

In 2022, the USC Board of Trustees and the USC Cabinet approved for implementation the two documents, along with the Board’s recommendation to change the name of the USC Press. Starting Academic Year 2022-2023, the USC Publishing House became the official publishing arm of the University of San Carlos. Dr. Relampagos, who served as the last Business Manager of the USC Press, was appointed Business Manager of the USC Publishing House.

In First Semester AY 2022-23, the USC Publishing House released the first ever digital publication of the University San Carlos. A book by Dr. Michael Cullinane The Chinese Mestizos of Cebu City 1750-1900 was published both in print and digital versions.

Digital versions of several General Education textbooks are expected to be released starting Second Semester AY 2022-23.