History and Mission

Established in 1975 by Jim and Merna Eisenbraun primarily as a means for students at the University of Michigan to purchase books in Ancient Near East studies affordably, Eisenbrauns grew over the years to include a publishing program, a prepress house, and book distribution and sales. In 2017, Eisenbrauns secured the future of its highly regarded publications in Ancient Near East studies, biblical studies, biblical archaeology, Assyriology, linguistics, and related fields by becoming an imprint of Penn State University Press, where the books and journals will complement PSU Press’s prestigious lists in religious studies and Jewish studies.


A university press is a natural home for Eisenbrauns, even if such a move is rare in the broader industry. Jim and his publishing house have long and deep relationships in the university press world. A publisher of premier peer-reviewed scholarship, Eisenbrauns handles prepress and other specialized production work for a number of university press journals and books, and the company’s service-oriented philosophy aligns well with the mission underlying every university press operation.


As a PSU Press imprint, Eisenbrauns is able to leverage the strengths of both organizations to serve the academic community even better. Together, the presses are home to vital scholarship on the history, religion, and languages of the ancient world to the present day and across faith traditions and geographic locations. Jim Eisenbraun will continue to guide and expand the imprint for some time to come.

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