The University of San Carlos Press was originally known as San Carlos Publications. It was founded in 1963 by the German ethnologist Fr. Rudolf Rahmann, SVD, the last SVD confrere to occupy the position of USC Rector and the first to use the title University President, following changes in USC’s corporate charter.
San Carlos Publications marked its founding with 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 work 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 issued 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 (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 in 1981).
San Carlos Publications also produced the first editions of Fr. Peter Schreur, MSC’s Angry Days in Mindanao (1987) and Caraga Antigua: The Hispanization and Christianization of Agusan, Surigao and East Davao (1989) as well as the first of his three-volume Mission To Mindanao (1994).
All four works of the architect-priest Fr. Winand Klassen, SVD—History of Western Architecture (1981); Architecture Gods and Mortals (1984) Architecture in the Philippines (1986); and Architecture and Philosophy (1990)]—were also produced by San Carlos Publications.
A number of books in anthropology and archaeology were also 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 released as the first book published by San Carlos Publications about the Spanish period in Cebu.
The first coffee table book produced by San Carlos Publications was a celebratory volume released in 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, upon the recommendation of Dr. Jose Eleazar R. Bersales, who assumed as Business Manager the year before, San Carlos Publications was renamed University of San Carlos Press to ensure its recognition as a university-based academic publishing house.
In 2016, USC Press established Verbum Books as an imprint for its textbooks that are not only used by students of the university, but are also sold to other schools as part of the knowledge-sharing thrusts of USC.