Founded in 1965, the Northern Illinois University Press publishes scholarly work and books of general interest. Most of its books are in the humanities and social sciences, but it also publishes in various fields of science and the arts. Regional topics are a special focus. Seeking to advance knowledge about its region, the press has published a wide range of books on the archaeology, history, literature, and culture of northern Illinois and Chicago. At present, there are about 461 titles in print.
The publication of any book through the NIU Press must be approved by the University Press Board, a faculty committee made up of representatives of the colleges and chaired by the vice president for research and graduate studies. The main function of the board is to assure high standards of quality in all the publications of the university press.
One of three state-supported presses in Illinois, the NIU Press has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1972.