About Oxbow Books

Welcome to the Oxbow Books website!

We are a leading publisher in the fields of archaeology, ancient history and medieval studies, with an international reputation for quality and affordability earned over the last 40 years. Our readership includes academics and students, professionals working in the field, and a wider audience of readers with a specialist interest in archaeology and history.

Read on to find out a bit more about how we got to where we are today.

Our specialisms

Our archaeology publishing covers all periods from earliest prehistory through classical archaeology, the ancient Near East, Egyptology, the Middle Ages and post-medieval archaeology.

We publish a wide variety of books including scholarly monographs, edited collections of papers, and excavation and research reports in related fields such as archaeological practice and theory, archaeozoology, and environmental, landscape and maritime archaeology.

From humble beginnings

Oxbow Books started life in 1983 in a shed in the garden of St Cross College, Oxford. It was founded by academic and museum archaeologist, David Brown, whose vision was to publish archaeology, ancient history and medieval studies as high quality, reasonably priced books and to distribute and retail the widest range of titles possible, providing a ‘one-stop’ shop for these subject areas. The company blossomed swiftly, establishing itself as a leading publisher and distributor in its subject areas. In the mid-1980s an office was opened in the USA, which became the David Brown Book Company (DBBC), providing sales, marketing and distribution services.

We launched Windgather Press in 2000, an imprint specialising in accessible books on landscape history, landscape archaeology, trees, and the history of the British countryside, including garden history. Written by some of the most accomplished landscape archaeologists and historians writing today, these books are designed to appeal to a wider audience as well as professionals in the field.

On David Brown’s retirement in 2012, Oxbow joined the US-based Casemate Group headed up by British publisher, David Farnsworth. DBBC evolved into Casemate Academic, now a major academic book distributor serving the American and Canadian markets.

A new chapter

Oxbow’s publishing programme has expanded considerably over the years. We took the decision in 2022 to restructure the UK business to focus on this. Until this point we provided distribution services in the UK, Europe and regions of the world outside of America and Canada for many publishing partners. The restructure meant a new distribution home for these publishers – Casemate UK – a newly-created company managed by Pen & Sword Books, based in Barnsley, UK. Much like Oxbow Books, Pen & Sword Books is an independent and family-owned business.

Casemate UK now provides distribution in the UK, Europe and rest of world regions (outside of America and Canada) for the Oxbow Books and Windgather Press lists too. When you’re browsing this website, you’ll find all our new and backlist titles (and there are some good ones, if we do say so ourselves), as you’d expect. The only difference now is that when you click the ‘Buy’ button, you’ll be taken to a Casemate UK check-out page for your order to be fulfilled.

Oxbow Books: the home of archaeology publishing

It may be 40 years since Oxbow Books started out, but we remain as focused as ever on the quality of our publishing – working with superb authors, editors and contributors from across the world – and the contribution our books make to readers and the scholarly and professional community more broadly.

Our UK editorial and production team is based in Oxford. You can find out more about the Oxbow team here.

Please get in touch by emailing bookadmin@oxbowbooks.com if you have any questions, and we hope you enjoy reading our books as much as we do publishing them!